East Ridge moving forward with tobacco ban
EAST RIDGE, TN (WRCB) - The city of East Ridge is taking a stand against tobacco. Leaders are pushing for a city-wide ban and the proposal does not sit will with some residents.
"All I'm asking is, don't infringe on others with your smoking," says East Ridge Parks and Recreation Director Marvin 'Stump' Martin.
Martin has already made a push for limiting smoking at Camp Jordan, banning coaches from dipping in front of players and posting signs to stop smokers from hovering.
And he knows all to well about he temptation.
"You know, I smoked three packs of cigarettes a day until November 1, 1987. Then I quit," he says.
East Ridge city council is moving forward with enforcing a city-wide tobacco ban.
Martin has already ordered about 40 signs to spread the word.
The council approved the ban with an amendment.
"There will be allowed smoking in the parking lots, in designated areas of the those parking lots," says City Manager Tim Gobble.
The issue lit up Channel 3's Facebook page, with one viewer writing: "So much for this being a 'FREE' country."
Another writes: "That's great!!!!! About time!" Another agrees, saying, "I respect people's decision to smoke, but I do not respect their desire to smoke in areas that directly affects my well-being."
One viewer fires back with, "There is a constitutional right to the pursuit of happiness, and smoking makes me happy."
But city leaders insist the ban serves a purpose.
"To reduce the amount of litter that's thrown out, the cigarette butts and other things, reduce people having to breathe second-hand smoke and encourage children to stay off tobacco as well," says Gobble.
"I think as long as they have designated areas and still give them their freedom to smoke, outdoors and away from other people, as long as put the cigarette butts where they need to go, I think it would be ok," says park goer Vickie Casteel.
"Nobody wants to be told what they can't and what they can't do. But there's certain places you can drink alcohol and there's certain places that you can't. There's certain places you can smoke and there's certain places that you can't. It's just part of society today and we need to accept it. It's 2012," says Martin.
The ban also includes the ban of tobacco use in all city-owned or leased vehicles.
The ban still has to go through a second reading, but is expected to pass.