Town considers expanding tobacco use ordinance – To ban smoking in workplace

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By David Meade

An ordinance being considered by the Town of Williamston to restrict tobacco use on playgrounds and recreational areas is being expanded to include a more comprehensive restriction on smoking.

During their meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council was presented information and a model ordinance on smoking by Terry Taylor, Regional Coordinator for the South Carolina Tobacco-Free Collaborative.

Taylor said his presentation was designed to assist small towns and counties in the benefits of going smoke free and the hazards of second hand smoke.

In addition to banning tobacco use at outdoor recreational areas, events and town properties, the ordinance restricts smoking in businesses.

The sample ordinance states the purpose of the ordinance is to protect the pubilch health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in workplaces and to guarantee the right of nonsmokers to breathe smoke fre air and to recognize that he nedd to breathe smoke free air has priority over the desire to smoke. It also includes enforcement, violations and penalties.

The presentation was accepted as information. First reading on the new ordinance is expected to be held at the next meeting of council.

Mayor Mack Durham said similar ordinances have been passes by towns and cities across the State.

Durham said the town was already considering banning tobacco and smoking at recreational areas and that proponents are encouraging towns to “go ahead and get as much done as you can do” and “not have to go back and redo an ordinance.”

“Anywhere you have higher quality of life communities you’ll see these ordinances,” the mayor said.