Apparently this, no smoking anywhere thing is spreading across Mississippi. See the city of Ridgeland passing an ordinance banning smoking city wide. This adds Ridgeland to the list of Tupelo, Hattiesburg, Mantachie, Oxford and others. Let me first identify myself as someone who is not a smoker, never has been a smoker and am somewhat allergic to lots of smoke. Most would think I would be in favor this, I am not. However, people should look at ordnances like this as objectionably.
1. This isn't city/county property they are influencing, it's private property.
2. These cities are telling business how to operate and what type of clientele are acceptable.
3. If a restaurant/business wants to be smoke free it can do that without an ordinance.
4. If someone doesn't want to visit a restaurant/business because it is smokey then they can leave and go elsewhere. It is the same idea as changing the channel on your television if you don't like what is on.
5. If a business loses customers because of smoke that is their right and their business model will/should determine if they want to be smoke free.
6. Cigarettes are not illegal.
I am not saying that Ridgeland have done anything illegal, ordinances like this do most likely fall under "public welfare" and if the people vote to want it then they can have it in this great democracy we live in. What I am saying is that it's not smart, and its not fair. Ordinances like these are social segregation, instead of whites telling blacks "You can't live here" it's non-smokers telling smokers on their own private property "You can't smoke here". And don't start with arguments about well you can ban drugs on your own private property, it's because those things are per se violations of law, lighting a cigarette is not. I can, and have, walked out of a restaurant because it was too smokey, I have left a casino sooner rather than later because of smoke, these were my decisions and they my appropriate response to a businesses decision. Now the businesses don't get to make the decision anymore, that has been taken over by the anti-smoking special interest and the Board of Aldermen