Tobacco ordinance passes 4-1
The Nevada City Council passed on second reading bill number 2017-33 prohibiting smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes in public places at its regular session meeting Tuesday evening with council person Ryan Watts the only “no” vote.
Before the vote, Mayor Brian Leonard opened the floor to public comments.
“I’ve been asked by our housing board to present to the council a letter tonight in support of this ordinance,” said Carol Branham. “The board wanted to thank you for your forward thinking.”
The floor then went to Lance Christie, who reiterated his concerns.
“I’m here just to let you know again that I am against this based on personal liberty,” Christie said.
“As a scientist, I am offended by this that you would use … bad science to push your agenda,” he said. He also questioned whether the ordinance would be applied to those with inhalers or who need oxygen tanks since those are gasses.
In addition, he took issue with the ordinance because it requires businesses to purchase signage.
He ended by saying “I don’t have a problem banning smoking in city buildings … but I don’t think you need to be poking your nose into businesses.”
Mayor Leonard began the council comments section by talking about emails he had received since the last meeting.
“It kind of brought some points up that I hadn’t really considered about this ordinance,” he said. “The one that really kind of hit me hard was, I think the burden should be on the smoker to find a place to smoke that does not impose upon the right to breathe.”
“I applaud the citizens that were here last week and are here today,” he said. “It’s just nice to see.”
After the meeting, Kelly Ast said, “I really just want to thank everyone involved.”
“Nevada’s already done so much to improve the health and it’s just another step to get there,” added Tori Schulze, assistant administrator at the Health Department.
Ast said the Show Me Tobacco Free Vernon County has funds from the State of Missouri to help existing and new business owners obtain signage. The group has also prepared informational packets to explain the ordinance.