Elementary-school students prompt Middlesboro smoking ban

UPDATE, May 20: The council passed the ban with one member opposing it. Gary Mills said, “I don’t think it’s the government’s right to intrude on businesses owned by individuals. If the public doesn’t like it, they won’t come. . . . This is too intrusive by the government.” Two non-smoking business owners expressed similar sentiments.

The Middlesboro City Council has approved on first reading an ordinance that would ban smoking in public, enclosed spaces. “It remains unclear if the ban would apply to the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products,” William Tribell reports for the Middlesboro Daily News.

The ordinance was prompted in part by a March presentation and petition from a group of Middlesboro Elementary School students involved in Destination Imagination, “a volunteer-led,
educational nonprofit organization whose purpose is to inspire and equip
students to become the next generation of leaders,” Tribell writes. “The team was awarded the DaVinci Award for Outstanding Creativity for their efforts and will now compete at the world competition May 20 in Knoxville.”

The students drafted the ordinance after researching those in other cities, Tribell reports: “In
their presentation to the city council, the team said that 33 percent of
Bell County’s population smoke, and they discussed the health effects
it has on the community at large.”

“The
council voted unanimously in favor of the ban ordinance, and it will go
up for a second-reading vote at their meeting on May 19,” Tribell reports.

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