Seymour City Council plans to vote tonight on amendments to the city’s smoking ordinance concerning where people can legally smoke in the city.
After discussing the proposed changes two weeks ago, the council is introducing provisions that include banning smoking from public gatherings, festivals or other events of 50 or more people and prohibiting the use of electronic smoking devices in public places.
Smoking still will be permitted in private clubs and bars along with retail tobacco stores and vape shops. The distance at which people can smoke near an entrance to a public building will remain 10 feet.
Tonight’s council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at city hall and is open to the public. If the ordinance passes first reading, it must pass a second reading before it goes into effect.
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The amendments were added to “protect the public health and welfare and guarantee the right of nonsmokers to breathe smoke-free air and recognize the right to breathe smoke-free air as a priority over the desire to smoke,” according to the ordinance.
If approved, enforcement of the ordinance will change from the city’s ordinance administrator to the Seymour Police Department, and those violating the law will be subject to a $50 fine for each offense.
At the Nov. 13 council meeting, the grass roots organization Smoke Free Seymour, led by retired Jackson County health officer Dr. Kenneth Bobb, requested new restrictions be added to the law to protect people from exposure to secondhand smoke.
The coalition’s request to ban smoking from bars and private clubs and increase the distance where smoking is permitted near a public entrance from 10 feet to 20 feet did not make it into the new ordinance as most council members felt it was taking the restrictions too far.
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Seymour City Council meeting
Where: City Hall, 301 N. Chestnut St.,
When: 7 p.m. tonight
On the agenda: An ordinance providing for amendments to the city code concerning smoking in public places and places of employment