The Jasper City Council on Tuesday voted 3-2 to adopt an ordinance to prohibit smoking in public places located within the city. The new law goes into effect Friday.
Dozens of concerned citizens who filled the Council chambers for Tuesday’s Council meeting applauded when Council President Johnny Rollins announced “Jasper is now a smoke-free city.”
Prior to the vote, several people spoke up at the meeting about why the Council should approve the ordinance, including Buddy Thorne, a Jasper dentist who said, “smoking doesn’t do anybody any good.”
Thorne added that Pueblo, Calif., saw a 27 percent decrease in emergency room visits for cardiac problems in the first year after city officials initiating a no-smoking ordinance.
“There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Tobacco smoke pollution is a serious public health problem,” said Charline Whyte, a tobacco prevention and control official for the Jefferson County Department of Health. “Dr. Regina Benjamin, the present surgeon general, has declared that second-hand smoke is not a mere annoyance, but a serious health hazard that causes disease and death among children and non-smoking adults.”
The changes are related to private clubs, smoking rooms in hotels, smoking by actors as part of a stage production, designated smoking rooms in any place of employment and allowing smoking at private functions in public facilities.
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