A smoking ban ordinance was unanimously passed Wednesday by Corbin’s commissioners. During a special called meeting, the second and final reading of the ordinance was held. Once the ordinance is advertised, it will become law.
The ordinance bans smoking in all public places within the city’s limits. Violators could face a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $150.
Although Commissioner Phil Gregory had voted against the proposal during prior meetings, he changed his vote Wednesday, saying he had received several calls on the matter.
During prior meetings, Gregory had maintained the ban would be an intrusion by government into personal choice.
The meeting was attended by several people from local health departments and the Tri-County Clear the Air Coalition.
After the ban passed the vote, Gail Timperio, public health director for Whitley County Health Department, thanked commissioners for their vote and said her department has smoking cessation classes available to businesses.
While no member of the public spoke against the ban during Wednesday’s meeting, Monday’s reading of the ordinance drew two people who raised concerns about the ban’s impact on charitable bingo gaming.
Those public enclosed spaces subject to the ban are bars, bingo facilities, restaurants, retail establishments and billiard halls. Smoking would be prohibited within 25 feet of entrances, exits, wheelchair ramps, windows and ventilation systems for enclosed areas.
Private residences would be excluded from the ban unless they are used for childcare, adult daycare or as a health care facility.
The ordinance would also restrict the number of designated smoking rooms hotels and motels could offer to guests. Only a maximum of 20 percent of rooms could be designated as smoking, all those rooms must be on the same floor and the smoke cheap Gauloises cigarette must not infiltrate nonsmoking areas.
Owners or operators of public buildings will be required to post “no smoking” signs and to remove ashtrays from those areas where smoking isn’t allowed. The ordinance mandates that owners or operators must require those who violate the ban to extinguish smoking materials. Those owners or operators who fail to maintain compliance will be found in offense of the ban.
Commissioners moved quickly to enact the ban. During the commission’s Nov. 14 meeting, Commissioner Joe Shelton made a motion to authorize Bob Hammons, city attorney, to draft the ordinance.
The ordinance was first read Monday during a special called meeting.
Hammons said the ordinance is based upon a sample provided to the city by the health department as well as ordinances in place in Louisville and Lexington.