New Albany will join 40 other Mississippi cities and towns Dec. 2 when a smoke-free workplace ordinance goes into effect.
The Board of Aldermen adopted the ordinance unanimously Monday after a public hearing generated no comments from the public. We were a little surprised that no one spoke out against it; perhaps it shows the education campaign about the problems with second-hand smoke is working.
In any case, the ordinance, which was put forward by Alderman Johnny Anderson, bans smoking in indoor work sites and in places where the public is invited. It also bans smoking on city-owned property. Exceptions include designated smoking rooms in hotels and private residence not used for child care, adult day care or health care services.
Individuals can be fined $50 for a first offense and $250 for each subsequent offense. Fines for business are $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $500 as well as revocation of a business license for a third offense.
In passing the ordinance, the board recognized that Mississippians overwhelmingly support smoke-free workplaces. That is especially true in restaurants, where even a majority of smokers supported a ban.
We think the board has taken a strong step toward improving our community and its health with this ordinance. We applaud the aldermen for it.