Horn Lake residents push for smoking ban

Horn Lake residents push for smoking ban

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Whether smoking cigarettes inside restaurants is allowed or not depends on where you live in DeSoto County.

Horn Lake is the last major city in the county to not enforce a public smoking ban. But some are asking city leaders and residents to consider it.

"I just had someone call me today to find out if we were smoking or non-smoking," said Susan Rinehart, who runs Wiseguys Chicago Pizza with her husband in Horn Lake. "I figured there'd be discussions sooner or later. I knew it was in Olive Branch. I knew it was in Hernando, so I knew it was coming this way."

The winds of change may be blowing soon.

"If a person chooses to do that, then that's their own personal choice," said Jill Morris of the Advisory Council of the Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition. "What some people don't realize is their choice affects others."

Morris is an activist for cleaner air in the county and a supporter of smoking bans in nearby cities. She now wants to ask Horn Lake leaders to consider a similar ban.

"You can say, 'Well, don't dine there if you don't want to smoke.' Well, what about the people who are working there?" asked Morris.

Morris says there's been more backlash in Horn Lake than other cities that have talked about a ban.

Rinehart says she sees both sides of the issue and that's why she caters to both crowds.

"We wanted to cater to both. We didn't want our smokers not to come, so that's why we have this outside area," explained Rinehart. "That way, if they need to smoke, they can come sit on the porch."

Horn Lake's mayor said there are no planned discussions as of Monday, but Morris hopes to garner enough support to get aldermen to reconsider a ban.

"Mississippi doesn't have to be last on another list," said Morris. "Our state can step up and choose health."

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