BRANDON, MS (WLBT) - Smokers will no longer be lighting up in public places in the city of Brandon.
The Brandon Board of Aldermen voted to put a stop to the habit, making it the first city in Rankin County to do so.
The list of smoke free cities in Mississippi is growing as Brandon aldermen unanimously approved a tobacco smoking ban Monday.
The city of 23,000 became the 33rd in the state to prohibit smoking in public.
Residents Len and Kelley Malick were thrilled to learn about the board's action.
The non smokers were dining outside at Steak Express in Brandon, which is already a smoke free business.
"It seems now more than ever I can't stand smoke. So whenever I go and there's smoking in a restaurant, I don't go in there. I just walk out," said Len Malick.
"This is brand new news to me hearing that Brandon's just passed this, so this is great news. If we go to a place and there's some type of smoking going on in it we just kinda opt out to go elsewhere," said Kelley Malick.
Brandon Mayor Tim Coulter said residents like the Malick's approached city leaders requesting that they work on an ordinance to ban smoking and improve the quality of life.
The new city law prohibits smoking in restaurants, grocery stores and retail businesses.
"I think it's a healthier alternative. We all look to be healthier and there's a lot of people that had chosen to go outside the city to eat just because the restaurants we had, several of them have smoking," said Mayor Coulter.
Customers and employees are now not allowed to smoke in front of the building but can do so in the rear, 15 feet from the building.
No one spoke out in opposition to the smoking ordinance prior to the vote.
Brandon smoking ban violators face a $100.00 fine for the first offense, $200.00 for the second and $500.00 for three or more offenses.
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