City to hold public hearing on smoking ordinance

The amendment for the ordinance will include electronic cigarettes and "vaping" within the definition of prohibited smoking products. (courtesy)
By: 
LOGAN KIRKLAND
Staff Writer

The Starkville Board of Aldermen approved the consideration of calling a public hearing to amend the city’s smoking ordinance.

The amendment for the ordinance will include electronic cigarettes and "vaping" within the definition of prohibited smoking products.

When the ordinance was passed, electronic cigarettes and "vaping" were not popular trends. However, the increased popularity of the new form of tobacco use has spurred city officials to address its use in public spaces.

The proposed public hearing was presented by Vice Mayor and Ward 6 Alderman Roy A’. Perkins.

Perkins said “it is completely necessary” to amend the ordinance in order to fully ensure smoking is banned in the Starkville.

Through this ordinance, Perkins said this will now include all tobacco-related products in order to help combat the effects residents could experience through second-hand smoke inhalation.
“We want to protect the public’s health and welfare,” Perkins said.

During the Sept. 1 work session, Mayor Lynn Spruill told the board this is an opportunity to include the new trends and update the verbiage of the ordinance.

The current ordinance prohibits smoking in public places and places of employment.

According to the verbiage of the ordinance “smoking means to smoke or carry a lighted pipe, cigar, cigarette or tobacco-related products of any form.”

Those in violation of the ordinance may be subject to a fine of no more than $50 for the first offense and $250 for the second and all subsequent offenses on a per incident basis.

For more information about the current ordinance, visit the city’s website under city ordinances.

The first public hearing for the ordinance amendment will occur at the next board meeting on Sept. 19 at City Hall.

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