Philadelphia business owners react to smoking ordinance

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. Philadelphia is limiting where smokers may light up in the city, especially around businesses.

"As a business owner, we've had no authority, really, if someone came to the door smoking to tell them to leave. I don't really think it will be an issue with the new ordinance, but I do think that it's progress,” says Steve’s on the Square owner, Steve Wilkerson.

The ordinance will require smokers to stand 15 to 20 feet away from a business when smoking, but designated smoking areas will be put in place.

Wilkerson says he fully supports the decision.

"One hundred fifty-three communities in Mississippi have a smoking ban. One hundred fifty-three153. So it's not like we're in uncharted territory,” says Wilkerson.

According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, there are also five smoke-free counties in the state.

Sara James of Kademi says she thinks the ordinance is a positive change.

"All the visitors that come into town and want to shop the square, if you are smoking, people who don't are not going to have to walk through a cloud of smoke,” says James.

The ordinance is expected to go into effect in around 30 days.