POSTED: Friday, January 13, 2012 - 11:49pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 11:27am
JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville Mayor Kenneth Melvin tells KETK that the "Clean Air Committee" has been meeting for a few months now.
And after much research, the committee has proposed a city wide ordinance that would ban smoking in all public places.
He says the dangers of second-hand smoke are at the heart of the committee's findings -- along with various other public health items.
"Some of the communities that have already banned smoking in the facilities...their heart attack rate was down 47%" Melvin said.
Melvin says they also took an online poll on the city's website.
"It was almost 50/50, but not quite 50/50...the majority wanted the ban," Melvin said.
But Jacksonville man Virgill Davis tells KETK he is not a part of that majority -- he doesn't agree with the ban.
"I don't think that's right cause people still like to smoke their cigarettes around," Davis said.
He tells KETK, he's been smoking for a long time.
"I've had open heart surgery and got a pacemaker in there on the count of my heart's slowed up, but otherwise, it don't bother me, it kind of settles my nerves down and keeps me from...being so nervous," Davis said.
While others -- are just tired of breathing in the smoke.
"Because the people that have asthma and breathing problems -- they could get sick," said East Texan LaQuinda Simpson.
Melvin tells KETK, they hope to discuss the proposed ban further at the next city council meeting in February.
"My thought is, that this may be an issue that we need to put to the voters. Much like we did the beer and wine sales," Melvin said.
The Jacksonville ban would also include E-Cigarettes.