UPDATED: Corbin city leaders plan vote on smoking ban ordinance Dec. 12
As a physician's assistant, Corbin City Commissioner Joe Shelton said he has seen, first-hand, the effects of smoking on an individual's health.
Add in that 25 percent of adult Kentuckians and almost 16 percent of Kentucky's teenagers smoke and Shelton said it was easy for him to make the motion Monday night for the Corbin City Commission to authorize the city's attorney to draw up an ordinance to ban smoking in all public places in the Corbin City Limits.
"My main objective is get the kids away from this," Shelton said, noting that most restaurants in Corbin offer "smoking" and "non-smoking" sections, but that does not keep the smoke in that area and employees are forced to work in that area.
Commissioners Joe Butch White and Ed Tye joined Mayor Willard McBurney in voting for the motion, while Commissioner Phil Gregory voted against it.
"More and more, the government is telling us what to do," Gregory said. "I don't know of a public place where you can smoke.
Who is it that needs this?"
Shelton said he has heard from numerous people that voted for him in the 2010 election, asking that he look into a smoking ban.
"Most restaurant owners are in favor of it but don't want to take it upon themselves to ban smoking," Shelton said.
With the motion approved, the next step will be for Corbin City Attorney Bob Hammons to draw up the ordinance and present it to the commission for the first reading and vote. Shelton said that could happen as soon as Dec. 12, which is the commission's next regularly scheduled meeting.
Hammons said the commission must approve the ordinance after two readings and then publish it in the newspaper of record.
"Usually goes into effect following that, but the commissioners could put an effect date on it," Hammons said.
McBurney said it will be spelled out in the ordinance who will enforce the ordinance, how it will be enforced and any potential penalties for violating the ordinance.
Those details have yet to be ironed out.
If the ordinance is passed, Corbin will join London and Campbellsville as cities in southern and eastern Kentucky who have enacted such ordinances.
Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young said the city's ordinance calls for a code enforcement officer to perform periodic checks of local business to ensure they are complying with the ordinance.
"It is up to the business owner to ensure compliance," Young said, noting the ordinance calls for a $25 fine for a first offense, a $100 fine for a second offense and $250 fine for a third offense.
"It has gone very well," Young said, "It has been accepted very well.
Young said Campbellsville is similar to Corbin in that its ordinance permits the sale of alcohol by the drink with a meal.
To his knowledge, the smoking ban has not negatively impacted economic development in the city.
"Most people are supportive of it," Young said.
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