Business
2:46 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Supporters Say Hopkinsville Smoke-Free Ordinance Good for Health, Economy

The Hopkinsville City Council is reviving a smoking ordinance proposed earlier this year. Committee of the whole members consider the measure Thursday to ban smoking from indoor places such as restaurants and bars. Mayor Dan Kemp proposed the new law in April, and it was set to come up for a vote in June.

But Kemp says the council postponed the vote to consider exempting businesses with fewer than 12 employees.

“It had not been researched by the city attorney or the staff. So there was considerable confusion surrounding this amendment. Council members recognized there needed to be more time," he said. "And so the motion was made to defer—to table and defer, to the August committee of the whole meeting."

The Christian County Economic Development Council is among local agencies supporting the ordinance. Executive Director Mitch Robinson says banning smoking in places like restaurants is good for public health and the economy.

“People prefer to be in restaurants that are smoke-free. And being here on the border with Clarksville that is smoke-free, we see some loss of business to those restaurants down there," said Robinson.

A survey by Christian County health department and chamber of commerce found 80 percent of respondents were in favor of a smoke free law in Hopkinsville. Many Kentucky cities, including Paducah and Henderson, ban smoking in bars and restaurants.