OWENSBORO, Kentucky — A western Kentucky city is considering a proposal to make a ban on smoking even stricter.
Owensboro Mayor Ron Payne told the Messenger-Inquirer (http://bit.ly/1o7S3TG) that the proposal would ban smoking in all public places, including parks, outdoor dining areas and properties owned by the city.
The city is already under a smoking ban approved in 2006 by Daviess Fiscal Court, which banned smoking in buildings open to those under age 18.
"We're going to be a smoke-free community," Payne said Tuesday, adding that he has unanimous support from the City Commission for the proposal. "It's on the agenda for August. The staff is working on it."
He said he has heard complaints from several people who enjoy outdoor dining and spending time in Smothers Park, but don't like the cigarette smoke.
"We have such large groups of people in the park, this is necessary," Payne said. "It's time we take this action. We want to be a healthy community. ... We're going to move on this."
Commissioner Bob Glenn said cigarette smoke is harmful.
"You can sugarcoat it all you want, but when it comes to public spaces, everyone has a right to a healthy environment," Glenn said. "Both my mother and father died of smoking-related illnesses."
Commissioner Jeff Sanford said he agrees with the proposal, but would like to make some provision for smokers.
"I'm on board," Sanford said. "But we need to take into account people who smoke and keep it in mind when we do this ordinance. There might not be a way, but I'd like to put some thought into it.
City Manager Bill Parrish said a draft ordinance would be ready for consideration at the Aug. 11 meeting.
Information from: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, http://www.messenger-inquirer.com