East Texas town considering smoking ordinance

By Lakecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - The town of Kilgore doesn't have smoking restrictions, but that could go up in smoke if city council members decide to draft a smoking ordinance.

"It is not a smoking ban," said Jeffrey Howell, Kilgore's city manager. "It's not a non smoking ordinance it's wide open right now."

Howell said the city counsel is asking for input on a possible smoking regulation ordinance.

"They're going into this with no preconceived notions" said Howell. "We don't have anything drafted yet and so they're wide open for comments both pro and con."

Supporters on both sides is exactly what we found.

"In Longview recently, they had the smoking ban and it really has improved going out to eat in longview so I wouldn't be opposed to it in Kilgore," said Ryan Griffin, a Kilgore resident.

"If I'm already sitting here smoking and they don't want to be around it they can get up and move to that other table," said Jim Harper. "I was here first."

"I don't want to have to smell smoke that's coming in this way mixing in with my food," said Sigwa Maradufu. "It's not really that good for me!"

Some supporters fear health complications from second hand smoke.

"When other people are smoking around me then it affects me and I have asthma as well, so it affects me even though I'm not a smoker," Amberly Allen.

"To cut if off from everybody cold turkey is not a good idea," said Hamza Busherr. "You're going to have some unruly people," he laughed.

"They don't want to have run outside every time to smoke a cigarette," said Drew Allen.

We even found some folks who were just straight down the middle.

"I mean, we can go with it or we can go without it," said Tami McFadin, assistant manger of the Back Porch. "It just really depends on what the public decides."

The city of Kilgore is holding a town hall meeting about the possible smoking ordinance Monday night at the Kilgore Town Hall at 815 North Kilgore Street.