Smoking law: Changes to rules up for 1st vote

Council seeks public input

Seymour City Council will have its first official public discussion tonight on proposed changes to strengthen the city’s smoking ordinance.

During new business, the grass roots organization Smoke Free Seymour will present its requests for the council to add new restrictions to the law, which currently bans smoking in most public places and keeps smokers 10 feet away from entrances to public buildings.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in council chambers at city hall, 301 N. Chestnut St., and is open to the public.

Smoke Free Seymour, led by retired Jackson County health officer Dr. Kenneth Bobb and former Councilman Mike Jordan, is proposing four major changes to the law:

Banning smoking from bars and clubs, including those with private membership;

increasing the distance where smoking is permitted near a public entrance from 10 feet to 20 feet;

making smoking illegal at festivals and other public gatherings of 50 or more people;

and including all electronic forms of smoking, such as e-cigarettes and vape machines in the restriction.

The group organized two meetings last month to help gain support for their proposal and to help answer questions from the public.

Bobb, a former smoker, says his biggest concern with smoking is how it “endangers other people from exposure to secondhand smoke.” He also feels the changes, if approved, would help people quit smoking and improve their own health and improve the overall health of the community.

Others say the proposal takes away their rights to engage in a legal activity for those 18 and older. And some business owners say the changes would hurt their business.

If council approves the proposal tonight, it will have to be voted on again Nov. 27 before going into effect. If council votes against the changes, there will not be a second reading.

If you go

Seymour City Council meeting

Where: City Hall, 301 N. Chestnut St.,

When: 7 p.m. tonight

On the agenda: Proposal of a new smoking ordinance

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.