Meridian Smoking Ordinance Now in Effect

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

The bar at Applebee's Friday was full of people, cocktails, smoothies, and fried food, but not cigarettes. The bar area used to permit smoking. Now that the smoking ordinance is in effect, even that area is a no smoking zone.

"We can do without it as far as a restaurant, as far as a family-oriented restaurant. Smoking, we can do without it," said Michael McShane, manager of Applebee's in Meridian.

At the time we visited Applebee's, two customers had left because they could not smoke there.

Now those two may not be the last to leave.

"You've got to bring a jacket to go outside to smoke," said Kyllen Howard, a smoker. "I was thinking about leaving a moment ago."

And that's what worries managers like McShane, the bar area and its business.

"It's going to be a big, big problem as far as the bar area, but we're still probably going to have some pretty good guest turn out in the booths," said McShane. "But around the bar area, the smoking, it's going to be, we are are going to have a hassle with it. I know we are."

The bar area of restaurants might cause some issues. However, there are many customers, like Francis Glosson, who are pleased with the ordinance.

"I'm glad that they stopped the smoking in the restaurants, because for all of the people who don't smoke, it's bad for them to have to smell it and try to eat," Glosson said.

For many, no smoking means an improved dining experience. For smokers, it may mean taking a step outside.

The entire ordinance appears below:

WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Meridian, Mississippi, has, based on
findings of fact, determined that the health, safety, and welfare of the City’s residents are a
primary concern, such that the City Council should adopt a Smoke-Free Air Ordinance of 2010;
WHEREAS, the City Council has determined that the Meridian Smoke-Free Air
Ordinance of 2003 should be updated and amended based on new findings.
SECTION A: The Meridian Smoke-Free Air Ordinance shall read as follows:
Section 1.
This article shall be known as the “City of Meridian Smoke-Free Air Ordinance of 2010.”
Section 2. Findings and intent.
WHEREAS, the City, pursuant to Section 21-17-5 of the Mississippi Code, is authorized
to make regulations to secure the general health of the municipality; and
WHEREAS, the City, has the duty to protect and promote the health of its citizenry.
THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Meridian, Mississippi, does hereby find
Numerous studies have found that tobacco smoke is a major contributor to indoor air
pollution, and that breathing secondhand smoke (also known as environmental tobacco smoke) is
a cause of disease, and lung cancer. The National Cancer Institute determined in 1999 that
secondhand smoke is responsible for the early deaths of up to 65,000 Americans annually.
(National Cancer Institute (NCI), “Health effects of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke:
the report of the California Environmental Protection Agency. Smoking and Tobacco control
Monograph 10,” Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute (NCI),
August 1999.)
The Public Health Service’s National Toxicology Program has listed secondhand smoke
as a known carcinogen. (Environmental Health Information Service (EHIS), “Environmental
tobacco smoke: first listed in the Ninth Report on Carcinogens,” U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services (DHHS), Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program, 2000;
reaffirmed by the NTP in subsequent reports on carcinogens, 2003, 2005.)
Secondhand smoke is particularly hazardous to elderly people, individuals with
cardiovascular disease, and individuals with impaired respiratory function, including asthmatics
and those with obstructive airway disease. Children exposed to secondhand smoke have an
increased risk of asthma, respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome, developmental
abnormalities, and cancer. (California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA), “Health
effects of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke,” Tobacco Control 6(4): 346-353, Winter,
The Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires that disabled persons have access to
public places and workplaces, deems impaired respiratory function to be a disability. (Daynard,
R.A., “Environmental tobacco smoke and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Nonsmokers’
Voice 15(1): 8-9.)
The U.S. Surgeon General has determined that the simple separation of smokers and
nonsmokers within the same air space may reduce, but does not eliminate, the exposure of
nonsmokers to secondhand smoke. (Department of Health and Human Services. “The Health
Consequences of Involuntary Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General,” Public Health
Service, Centers for Disease Control, 1986.)
The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that secondhand smoke cannot be
reduced to safe levels in businesses by high rates of ventilation. Air cleaners, which are only
capable of filtering the particulate matter and odors in smoke, do not eliminate the known toxins
in secondhand smoke. (Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Indoor air facts no. 5:
environmental tobacco smoke,” Washington, D.C.: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
June 1989.)
A significant amount of secondhand smoke exposure occurs in the workplace.
Employees who work in smoke-filled businesses suffer a 25-50% higher risk of heart attack and
higher rates of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as increased acute
respiratory disease and measurable decrease in lung function. (Pitsavos, C.; Panagiotakos, D.B.;
Chrysohoou, C.; Skoumas, J.; Tzioumis, K.; Stefanadis, C.; Toutouzas, P., “Association between
exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and the development of acute coronary syndromes:
the CARDIO2000 case-control study,” Tobacco Control 11(3): 220-225, September 2002.)
Smoke-filled workplaces result in higher worker absenteeism due to respiratory disease,
lower productivity, higher cleaning and maintenance costs, increased health insurance rates, and
increased liability claims for diseases related to exposure to secondhand smoke. (“The high price
of cigarette smoking,” Business & Health 15(8), Supplement A: 6-9, August 1997.)
Numerous economic analyses examining restaurant and hotel receipts and controlling for
economic variables have shown either no difference or a positive economic impact after
enactment of laws requiring workplaces to be smoke free. Creation of smoke free workplaces is
sound economic policy and provides the maximum level of employee health and safety. (Glantz,
S.A. & Smith, L. “The effect of ordinances requiring smoke free restaurants on restaurant sales
in the United States.” American Journal of Public Health, 87:1687-1693, 1997; Colman, R.;
Urbonas, C.M., “The economic impact of smoke-free workplaces: an assessment for Nova
Scotia, prepared for Tobacco Control unit, Nova Scotia Department of Health,” GPI Atlantic,
September 2001.)
Smoking is a potential cause of fires; cigarette and cigar burns and ash stains on
merchandise and fixtures causes economic damage to businesses. (“The high price of cigarette
smoking,” Business & Health 15(8), Supplement A: 6-9, August 1997.)
The 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, “The Health Consequences of Involuntary
Exposure to Tobacco Smoke,” has concluded that: (1) secondhand smoke exposure causes
disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke; (2) children exposed to
secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute
respiratory problems, ear infections, and asthma attacks, and that smoking by parents causes
respiratory problems and slows lung growth in their children; (3) exposure of adults to
secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and causes
coronary heart disease and lung cancer; (4) there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand
smoke; (5) establishing smoke-free workplaces is the only effective way to ensure that
secondhand smoke exposure does not occur in the workplace, because ventilation and other air
cleaning technologies cannot completely control for exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand
smoke; and (6) evidence from peer-reviewed studies shows that smoke-free policies and laws do
not have an adverse economic impact on the hospitality industry. (U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services. “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A
Report of the Surgeon General,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and health
promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.)
Based on a finding by the California Environmental Protection Agency in 2005, the
California Air Resources Board has determined that secondhand smoke has serious health
effects, including low birth-weight babies; sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); increased
respiratory infections in children; asthma in children and adults; lung cancer, sinus cancer, and
breast cancer in young, premenopausal women; heart disease; and death. (Appendix II Findings
of the Scientific Review Panel: Findings of the Scientific Review Panel on Proposed
Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant as adopted at the
Panel’s June 24, 2005, meeting, California Air Resources Board (ARB), September 12, 2005.)
There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. (Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), “Respiratory health effects of passive smoking: lung cancer and other disorders, the
report of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph
4,” Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute (NCI); Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), August 1993; California Environmental Protection Agency, “Health
Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke,” 1997; California Air Resources Board,
“Proposed identification of environmental tobacco smoke as a toxic air contaminant,”
Sacramento: California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal-EPA), Air Resources Board,
Stationary Source Division, Air Quality Measures Branch, Office of Environmental Health
Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), September 29, 2005.)
A study of hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction in Helena, Montana,
before, during and after a local law eliminating smoking in workplaces and public places was in
effect, has determined that laws to enforce smoke-free workplaces and public places may be
associated with a reduction in morbidity from heart disease. (Sargent, Richard P.; Shepard,
Robert M.; Glantz, Stanton A., “Reduced incidence of admissions for myocardial infarction
associated with public smoking ban: before and after study,” British Medical Journal 328: 977-
980, April 24, 2004.)
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that the risk of acute
myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease associated with exposure to tobacco smoke is
non-linear at low doses, increasing rapidly with relatively small doses such as those received
from secondhand smoke or actively smoking one or two cigarettes at day, and has warned that all
patients at increased risk of coronary heart disease or with known coronary artery disease should
avoid all indoor environments that permit smoking. (Pechacek, Terry F.; Babb, Stephen,
“Commentary: How acute and reversible are the cardiovascular risks of secondhand smoke?”
British Medical Journal 328: 980-983, April 24, 2004.)
Given the fact that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, the American
Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) bases its
ventilation standards on totally smoke-free environments. ASHRAE has determined that there is
currently no air filtration or other ventilation technology that can completely eliminate all the
carcinogenic components in secondhand smoke and the health risks caused by secondhand
smoke exposure, and recommends that indoor environments be smoke-free in their entirety.
(Samet, J.; Bohanon, Jr., H.R.; Coultas, D.B.; Houston, T.P.; Persily, A.K.; Schoen, L.J.;
Spengler, J.; Callaway, C.A., “ASHRAE position document on environmental tobacco smoke,”
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), 2005.)
The Society of Actuaries has determined that secondhand smoke costs the U.S. economy
roughly $10 billion a year: $5 billion in estimated medical costs associated with secondhand
smoke exposure and $4.6 billion in lost productivity. (Behan, D.F.; Eriksen, M.P.; Lin, Y.,
“Economic Effects of Environmental Tobacco Smoke,” Society of Actuaries, March 31, 2005.)
All of the above facts and findings are equally true inside the city of Meridian,
Hundreds of communities in the United States, plus numerous states, including
California, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, and
Washington, have enacted laws requiring workplaces, restaurants, bars, and other public places
to be smoke-free, as have numerous countries, including Ireland, new Zealand, Norway,
Scotland, Sweden, Uganda, and Uruguay.
There is no legal or constitutional “right to smoke” and business owners have no legal or
constitutional right to expose their employees and customers to the toxic chemicals in
secondhand smoke. On the contrary, employers have a common law duty to provide their
workers with a workplace that is not unreasonably dangerous.
The smoking of tobacco is a form of air pollution, a positive danger to health, and a
material public nuisance in the City of Meridian, Mississippi.
Accordingly, the City Council of the City of Meridian, Mississippi, finds and declares
that the purposes of this article are to: (1) protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting
smoking in public places and places of employment; and (2) guarantee the right of all citizens to
breathe smoke-free air, and to recognize that the need to breathe smoke-free air shall outweigh
the desire to smoke.
Section 3. Definitions.
The following words and phrases, whenever used herein, shall be construed as defined in
this section:
(a) “Bar” means an establishment that is devoted to the serving of alcoholic
beverages for consumption by guests on the premises and in which the
gross receipts for the sale of food does not exceed percent of the total
gross receipts, including but not limited to cocktail lounges, nightclubs,
taverns, and cabarets.
(b) “Business” means a sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture,
corporation, or other business entity formed for profit-making purposes,
including retail establishments where goods or services are sold as well as
professional corporations and other entities where legal, medical, dental,
engineering, architectural, or other professional services are delivered.
(c) “Employee” means a person who is employed by an employer in
consideration for direct or indirect monetary wages or profit, and a person
who volunteer his or her services for a non-profit entity.
(d) “Employer” means a person, business, partnership, association,
corporation, including a municipal corporation, trust, or non-profit entity
that employs the services of one or more individual persons.
(e) “Enclosed area” means all space between a floor and ceiling that is
enclosed on all sides by solid walls or windows (exclusive of doorways),
which extend from the floor to the ceiling.
(f) “Health care facility” means an office or institution providing care or
treatment of diseases, whether physical, mental, or emotional, or other
medical, physiological, or psychological conditions, including but not
limited to, hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals or other clinics, nursing
homes, homes for the aging or chronically ill, laboratories, and offices of
surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, physicians, dentists, and all
specialists within these professions. This definition shall include all
waiting rooms, hallways, private rooms, semi-private rooms, and wards
within health care facilities.
(g) “Place of employment” means an area under the control of a public or
private employer that employees normally frequent during the course of
employment, including, but not limited to, work areas, employee lounges,
restrooms, conference rooms; meeting rooms, classrooms, employee
cafeterias, hallways, and vehicles. A private residence is not a “place of
employment” unless it is used a childcare, adult day care, or health care
(h) “Private Club” means an organization, whether incorporated or not, which
is the owner, lessee, or occupant of a building or portion thereof used
exclusively for club purposes at all times, which is operated solely for
recreational, fraternal, social, patriotic, political, benevolent, or athletic
purpose, but not for pecuniary gain, and which only sells alcoholic
beverages incidental to its operation. The affairs and management of the
organization are conducted by a board of directors, executive committee,
or similar body chosen by the members at an annual meeting. The
organization has established by laws and/or a constitution to govern its
activities. The organization has been granted an exemption from the
payment of federal income tax as a club member under 26 U.S.C. Section
(i) “Public place” means an enclosed area to which the public is invited or in
which the public is permitted, including but not limited to, banks,
educational facilities, health care facilities, Laundromats, public
transportation facilities, reception areas, restaurants, retail food production
and marketing establishments, retail service establishments, retail stores,
shopping malls, sports arenas, theaters, and waiting rooms. A private
residence is not a “public place” unless it is used as a childcare, adult day
care, or health care facility.
(j) “Restaurant” means an eating establishment, including but not limited to,
coffee shops, cafeterias, sandwich stands, and private and public school
cafeterias, which gives or offers for sale food to the public, guests, or
employees, as well as kitchens and catering facilities in which food is
prepared on the premises for serving elsewhere. The term “restaurant”
shall include an attached bar.
(k) “Retail tobacco store” means a retail store utilized primarily for the sale of
tobacco products and accessories and in which the sale of other products is
merely incidental.
(l) “Service line” means an indoor line in which one or more persons are
waiting for or receiving service of any kind, whether or not the service
involves the exchange of money.
(m) “Shopping mall” means an enclosed public walkway or hall area that
serves to connect retail or professional establishments.
(n) “Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted
cigar, cigarette, pipe, weed, plant, or other combustible substance in any
manner or in any form.
(o) “Sports arena” means sports pavilions, stadiums, gymnasiums, health
spas, boxing arenas, swimming pools, roller and ice rinks, bowling alleys,
and other similar places where members of the general public assemble to
engage in physical exercise, participate in athletic competition, or witness
sports or other events.
(p) “Stand-alone bar” means an establishment described in Definition (A)
above and is not located within, an does not share any common entry or
common indoor area with, any other enclosed workplace, including a
Section 4. Application of article to city-owned facilities.
All enclosed facilities, including buildings and vehicles owned, leased, or operated by the
City of Meridian shall be subject to the provisions of this Article.
Section 5. Prohibition of smoking in public places.
Smoking shall be prohibited in all enclosed public places within the City of Meridian,
including, but not limited to, the following places:
(a) Galleries, libraries, and museums.
(b) Area available to and customarily used by the general public in businesses
and non-profit entities patronized by the public, including but not limited
to, professional offices, banks, laundromats, hotels, and motels.
(c) Bars.
(d) Bingo facilities.
(e) Child care and adult care facilities.
(f) Convention facilities.
(g) Educational facilities, both public and private.
(h) Elevators.
(i) Facilities primarily used for exhibiting a motion picture, stage drama,
lecture, musical recital, or other similar performance.
(j) Health care facilities.
(k) Hotels and motels, including at least eighty percent (80%) of rooms that
are rented to guests.
(l) Lobbies, enclosed hallways, laundry rooms, clubhouses and other
common areas in apartment buildings, condominiums, mobile home parks,
retirement facilities, nursing homes, and other multiple-unit residential
(m) Polling places.
(n) Private clubs, when being used for functions to which the general public is
(o) Public transportation facilities, including buses and taxicabs, under the
authority of the City of Meridian, and ticket, boarding, and waiting areas
of public transit depots.
(p) Restaurants.
(q) Restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, and other common-use
(r) Retail stores.
(s) Rooms, chambers, places of meeting or public assembly, including school
buildings, under the control of an agency, board, commission, committee,
or Council of the City of Meridian or a political subdivision of the State
when a public meeting is in progress, to the extent the place is subject to
the jurisdiction of the City of Meridian.
(t) Service lines.
(u) Shopping malls.
(v) Sports arenas, including enclosed places in outdoor arenas.
Section 6. Prohibition of smoking in places of employment.
(a) Smoking shall be prohibited in all enclosed facilities within places of employment
without exception. This includes common work areas, auditoriums, classrooms,
conference and meeting rooms, private offices, elevators, hallways, medical facilities,
cafeterias, employee lounges, stairs, restrooms, vehicles, and all other enclosed facilities.
(b) This prohibition on smoking shall be communicated to all existing employees by
the effective date of this Article and to all prospective employees upon their application
for employment.
Section 7. Prohibition of smoking in the following outdoor places.
Smoking shall be prohibited in the following outdoor places:
(a) Within the reasonable distance of twenty (20) feet outside entrances, operable
windows, and ventilation systems of enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited,
so as to insure that tobacco smoke does not enter those areas.
(b) In outdoor seating or serving areas of restaurants and within twenty (20) feet
(c) In all outdoor arenas, stadiums, and amphitheaters, except in designated smoking
areas, which may be established in the perimeter areas at least twenty (20) feet
from any seating areas or concession stands. Smoking shall also prohibited in,
and within twenty (20) feet of bleachers and grandstands for use by spectators at
sporting and other public events.
(d) In all public transit stations, platforms, and shelters under the authority of the City
of Meridian.
Section 8. Where smoking is not regulated.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article to the contrary, the following areas
shall be exempt from the provisions of Sections 5 (public places where smoking is prohibited)
and 6 (no smoking in places of employment):
Private residences, except when used as a childcare, adult day care, or health care facility.
Not more than twenty percent (20%) of hotel and motel rooms rented to guests and
designated as smoking rooms. All smoking rooms on the same floor must be
contiguous and smoke from these rooms must not infiltrate into areas where
smoking is prohibited under the provisions of this Article. The status of rooms as
smoking or nonsmoking may not be changed, except to add additional
nonsmoking rooms.
Membership Private clubs that have no employees, except when being used for a function
to which the general public is invited; provided that smoke from such clubs does
not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited under the provisions of this
Article. This exemption shall not apply to any organization that is established for
the purpose of avoiding compliance with this Article.
Outdoor areas of places of employment, except those covered by the provisions of
Section 7 (prohibition of smoking in outdoor areas).
Retail tobacco stores, provided that smoke from these areas does not infiltrate into areas
where smoking is prohibited under the provisions of this Article.
Section 9. Declaration of establishment as nonsmoking.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article, an owner, operator, manager, or
other person in control of an establishment, facility area may declare that entire establishment,
facility, or outdoor area as a nonsmoking place. Smoking shall be prohibited in any place in
which a sign conforming to the requirements of Section 10(a) is posted.
Section 10. Posting of signs.
(a) “No Smoking” signs or the international “No Smoking” symbol (consisting of a
pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red cross bar
across it) shall be clearly and conspicuously posted in every public place and place of
employment where smoking is prohibited by this Article, by the owner, operator,
manager, or other person in control of that place.
(b) Every public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited by this
Article shall have posted at every entrance a conspicuous sign clearly stating that
smoking is prohibited. Every vehicle that constitutes a place of employment under this
Article shall have at least one conspicuous sign, visible from the exterior of the vehicle,
clearly stating that smoking is prohibited.
(c) All ashtrays and other smoking paraphernalia shall be removed from any are where
smoking is prohibited by this Article by the owner, operator, manager, or other person
having control of the area.
Section 11. Non-retaliation.
(a) No person or employer shall discharge, refuse to hire, or in any manner retaliate
against an employee, applicant for employment, or customer because that employee,
applicant, or customer exercises any rights afforded by this Article or reports or attempts
prosecute a violation of this Article. Notwithstanding Section 13, violation of this
-shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 for each violation.
(b) An employee who works in a setting where an employer allows smoking does not
waive or otherwise surrender any legal rights the employee may have against the
employer or any other party.
Section 12. Enforcement.
(a) This Article shall be enforced by the Meridian Police Department or through
private affidavits.
(b) Notice of the provisions of this Article shall be given to all applicants for a business
license in the City of Meridian.
(c) Citizens who desire to file a complaint under this Article may initiate enforcement
with the City Court. At least two persons filing separate individual affidavits will be
required for each violation.
(d) The Meridian Police Department and the Meridian Fire Department, or their
designees, shall, while an establishment is undergoing mandated inspections, inspect for
compliance with this Article.
(e) An owner, manager, operator, or employee of an establishment regulated by this
Article shall inform persons violating this Article of the appropriate provisions thereof.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article, an employee or private citizen
may bring legal action to enforce this Article.
(g) In addition to the remedies provided by the provisions of this Section, the Meridian
Police Department and Meridian Fire Department, or any person aggrieved by the failure
of any owner, operator, manager, or other person in control of a public place or a place of
employment to comply with the provisions of this Article may seek injunctive relief to
enforce those provisions in any court of competent jurisdiction.
Section 13. Violations and penalties.
(a) A person who smokes in an area where smoking is prohibited by the provisions of
this Article shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not
exceeding $50.00 per violation.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in Section 1 (a), a person who owns, manages,
operates, or otherwise controls a public place or place of employment and who fails to
comply with the provisions of
this Article shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by:
A fine not exceeding $100.00 for a first violation.
A fine not exceeding $200.00 for a second violation within one year of any prior
A fine not exceeding $500.00 for a third or more violation within one (1) year of
(c) In addition to the fines established by this Section, violation of this Article by a
person who owns, manages, operates, or otherwise controls a public place or place of
employment may result in the suspension or revocation of any City permit or license
issued to the person for the premises on which the violation occurred.
(d) Each day on which an infraction of this Article occurs shall be considered a
separate violation.
(e) Violation of this Article is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, which may be
abated by the City of Meridian by restraining order, preliminary and permanent
injunction, or other means provided for by law, and the City of Meridian may take action
to recover costs of the nuisance abatement.
Section 14. Public education.
The Meridian Police Department or its designee shall engage in a continuing program to
explain and clarify the purposes and requirements of this Article to citizens affected by it, and to
guide owners, operators, and mangers in their compliance with it. The program may include
publication of a brochure for affected businesses and individuals explaining the provisions of this
Section 15. Governmental agency cooperation.
The Meridian Police Department and Meridian Fire Department shall annually request
other governmental and educational agencies having facilities within the City to establish local
operating procedures in cooperation and compliance with this Article. This may include urging
all federal, state, county, and school district agencies to update their existing smoking control
regulations to be consistent with the current health findings regarding secondhand smoke.
Section 16. Liberal construction.
This Article shall be liberally construed so as to further its purposes.
SECTION B. All provisions of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Meridian,
Mississippi, in conflict with the provisions of this Article shall be, and the same are hereby,
repealed; and, all other provisions of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Meridian,
Mississippi, not in conflict with the provisions of this Article shall remain in full force and effect.
SECTION C. Should any sentence, paragraph, subdivision, clause, phrase, or Section of
this Article be adjudged or held to be unconstitutional, illegal, or invalid, the same shall not
affect the validity of this Article as a whole, or any part or provision thereof other than the part
so decided to be invalid, illegal, or unconstitutional, and shall not affect the validity of the Code
of Ordinances of the City of Meridian, Mississippi, as a whole.
SECTION D. The preceding Smoke-Free Air Ordinance of the City of Meridian,
Mississippi, shall become effective and enforceable thirty (30) days after adoption and
SO ORDAINED, this the 19th day of January 2010.

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  • by al Location: meridian on Apr 29, 2012 at 05:55 AM
    Its not in effect at the ta truck stop on i-20 ex160. People smoke in the resteraunt. They have a smoking section which is right when you walk in. Everyone who walks in the entrance is exposed to 2nd hand smoke until they walk to to non-smoking section.
  • by Elaine Location: Meridian on Jan 28, 2011 at 08:35 PM
    This is a great ordinance, a step in the right direction for an area that really needs positive change. The only problem with it is that it is not being enforced in bars. I know of several bars where smoking is widespread and there is no effort to conceal it. Meridian PD: Please enforce this law!!
  • by cal Location: Meridian on Jan 28, 2011 at 08:31 PM
    Anyone who thinks smokers have a right to pollute public air is delusional. It's pretty sad that this ordinance is just now making it to Meridian. Modern cities have adopted similar ordinances years ago, in some cases, over ten years ago. The extreme views of idiots who think this is a bad thing are part of the reason why this state is dead last in every significant cultural and economic category.
  • by CoachMcGuirk Location: IL on Jun 15, 2010 at 12:44 PM
    Haha, if smoking bans are so great JohnMc, please tell me why so many businesses that were smoker-friendly suffer under bans, and why many smokers are more than glad to head outside of the city to find smoker-friendly establishments? Not to mention, even in businesses that don't close for good, they do suffer in subtle ways, such as employees getting decreased tips, a business having to cut its hours of operation, greatly reducing the number of hours assigned for employees, and the negative effects go on and on. The local smoking bans that were passed in the Chicago area before the statewide smoking ban still haunt me to this day, plus in Normal, IL, since I saw all their negative economic effects first-hand. I wish someone in Meridian, MS city government had been brave enough to oppose this very strict smoking ban proposal, like what Meridian's former mayor did a few years ago by vetoing a similar ban proposal to the one that just took effect.
  • by JohnMc Location: San Francisco on May 19, 2010 at 09:01 PM
    I grew up in Meridian and have lived all over the country and most cities impose a smoking ban. I quit years ago, but even when I smoked, I hated it in restaurants. Food and cigarette stench don't pair well. Let me explain to you how this is going to go and you'll feel better. When you want a smoke, you'll get up and go outside. Period. You'll stop saying you'll never go back to this place or that, because let's face it, if you're in Meridian, your choices are limited at best. Long story short, you'll get over it. You'll go outside and join what you'll come to know as the "Smoker's Circle." You'll meet new people and realize you can always bum a smoke or get a light and sometimes, when the conversation inside is going to ____, you'll covet the excuse to run outside and take a moment alone or sneak a call to the other girl you stood up tonight, but is starting to look better now. Embrace The Circle folks. In the end, you'll drink more and smoke less and that's a tough argument to beat.
  • by Teresa Location: mdn on May 8, 2010 at 07:39 AM
    It should be everyone's right to smoke or not to smoke. workplaces should make a designated place for us to smoke that is not in the buildings where it bothers anyone else. everyone has right to do things that they want to do, i have never smoked in anyone's house or car that doesnt smoke, but i have to work 12 hour a day and i should have a place to smoke at while im there
  • by CoachMcGuirk on Mar 19, 2010 at 11:04 AM
    Smoking bans like this are only passed because of a vocal minority(anti-smokers) selfishly trying get all private businesses to conform against their will, when there is room for both non-smoking and smoking businesses to exist. Meridian's council made a TERRIBLE mistake to not consider an ordinance combining elements of both Jackson and McComb's bans, former allowing bars the choice to allow or ban smoking, and latter for restaurants to construct a physically separate smoking room. All businesses would be allowed to construct an employee smoking breakroom, providing one exists for non-smokers. Employers w/smoking room would be required to allow all employees the right to sign a waiver opting out of working/entering any such room(automatic opt-out, if under 18), and bars allowing smoking would have to inform all potential employees of this fact on the job application. I'm sure the nannies would still find a (stupid) way to criticize such a fair-minded ordinance. :)
  • by Jay on Feb 24, 2010 at 01:41 PM
    First guy is funny. Second it really should be up to the manager or owner of the establishment to decide on things like this. Government butting into our private lives ounce again.
  • by me Location: meridian on Feb 23, 2010 at 02:25 PM
    Fact is everyone wants what they want & could not care less about the other person. The guy asng it right when he said 'wanna talk me wanna talk about I wanna talk number 1 oh my me my! Open your eyes (one will do) & there are rude & inconsiderate people all around not necessarily smoking. And that alcohol in the bar should have equal warnings & the person drunk fixing to kill an innocent should wear one too.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 23, 2010 at 09:05 AM
    I go out often to the bars and always went home smelling like smoke, but it was "my choice" to go. I like the ban only because I can go in a place I enjoy and be able to breath. I don't agree or disagree, but did enjoy going home not smelling like smoke. I didn't notice any difference in the bar. When someone wanted to smoke, they stepped out. The local bars were still packed with people this weekend so obviously it's not going to hurt them.
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