Sheffield City Council considering smoking ban ordinance

SHEFFIELD, Ala. – There’s an ordinance up for discussion Monday evening by the Sheffield City Council. They are talking about banning smoking in restaurants and public areas.

As you walk along the paths at Riverfront Park you will spot them. Make your way into the fenced enclosure for the children’s play area, and they are there too. Cigarette butts seems to be everywhere.

Which has led to a bigger discussion among Sheffield City Council members. Should there be a ban placed on smoking in areas such as restaurants, public parks, and on the street?

Mayor Ian Sanford is opposed to the proposal as it is, especially for eateries.

“I just think the business that is spending their money, that have been here, that have been successful, I think it is their decision. I don’t think government should force something on them,” Sanford stated.

That is one vote against the proposed ordinance. What do residents think should happen?

“I think it would be a good idea to do it. I smoked several years ago, and I didn’t realize how bad it smelled until I quit,” explained Paul McCrite.

Sallie Muhlendorf likes the approach Florence took several years back; have the restaurants declare whether they are a smoking or non-smoking facility.

“If people know that, and people know a restaurant has smoking they can either go or not,” Muhlendorf said.

The proposal lies in the hands of the Sheffield City Council. Monday evening, they could vote for the ban, have businesses declare whether they are smoking or non-smoking, or study it more.

If a ban is approved, Sheffield would be the first city in Colbert County to make such a move.

We’ll continue to follow this developing story out of Sheffield and bring the council decision as soon as it happens.