To smoke or not smoke, that’s the question

Published 4:19 pm Thursday, December 11, 2008

Every morning I wake up to David and Kyle. That would be David Norrell and Kyle Haynes, hosts of Q-94’s morning show. It’s good stuff. Trivia. Frequent phone callers from the folks you know. Local and national news. Check it out.

Each Tuesday, following a Greenville City Council meeting, they host a segment with Mayor Dexter McLendon. Haynes and the Mayor go over the recent meeting’s agenda and discuss council actions. They then allow phone calls from the public. Sort of reminds me of the old shows Y-102 used to do with former Montgomery Mayor Emory Folmar.

One caller on Tuesday brought up a prominent issue circulating in small towns across America: Is the council going to consider a smoking ban for the City of Greenville?

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The Mayor said a resolution had been drawn up for future consideration, but that he had not presented it to the council because he felt businesses had the right to decide whether or not they were going to be smoke-free. Some restaurants, like Ruby Tuesday’s, have already made the decision to ban smoking, he said.

The issue is a testy one: On one hand you have the rights of the individual business owners, but then you have the documented studies that indicate the hazardous nature of second-hand smoke to non-smokers. Some cities in Alabama – Gadsden, Auburn, even Luverne – have enacted smoking bans and it seems the Legislature is content to have it that way. In May, a bill to enact a statewide smoking ban failed.

Myself, I’m divided as well. I don’t really have a problem with anyone lighting up a cigarette around me, but I can see the point of so many parents across the country who would rather not have their children exposed to the dangers of second-hand smoke.

My dad smoked forever. I still remember our living room covered in a perpetual fog of smoke – especially during an Auburn football game. Then he started taking his smoking outside. Then he finally kicked the habit.

Good for him.

Like my father, you have the right to enact your own smoking ban.