(Southaven, MS) Southaven's mayor says he will push for a "smoke free" ordinance to be enacted in restaurants and indoor workplaces.
In a statement, Mayor Darren Musselwhite said, "the number one most-expressed concern to me is the fact that our City has not adopted an ordinance to ban smoking in restaurants and other buildings. The people of Southaven expect and deserve to know my opinion about this issue."
While he said he believes in small government he believes this, "transcends a private business decision and becomes a public safety issue. It complies with the theory… “My right to swing my fist ends at your nose.”
Musselwhite also said he believes the ordinance will help attract new businesses to town because, "Cities with a “healthier” image have an advantage in attracting new business."
The mayor will now propose the ordinance to the Board.
Wednesday, Phillip Peeler lit up and enjoyed his cigarette inside Huey’s in Southhaven.
“That’s why we came here, because you can smoke here,” Peeler said.
The new recommendation by Mayor Musselwhite could have him smoking outside at restaurants and some public buildings.
“I just think its okay to do it as long as you’re not offending anyone else,” Peeler said.
The mayor sees it a different way.
With health risks too big to ignore, the mayor explains it’s become a “public safety issue.”
Businesses in Southhaven with people smoking inside could not talk on camera on Wednesday, but their customers said the decision should be up to the owners.
One man said he walks in at his own free will making it fine by him if others smoke.
Other customers do not think a no-smoking ordinance will be a big deal.
However, it is something Peeler and his friend said could have them looking for a new place to eat.