JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Advocates in support of a statewide smoking ban gathered at the capitol Wednesday to ask lawmakers to vote 'yes' on this legislation.
"We do not have a strong statewide law to protect all Mississippians from second hand smoke," said American Heart Association Government Relations Director Katherine Bryant.
Senate Bill 2726 and House Bill 863 would virtually erase smoking from indoors a public building.
This includes restaurants and casinos throughout the state.
In addition, it would also enforce that smokers stand 20 to 25 feet away from a public building if they are smoking.
"Just walking through an area or sitting in an area with second hand smoke can increase the risk of having a heart attack," said State Health Dept. Director, Dr. Mary Currier.
Currently more than 35 municipalities in the state are smoke-free.
However, the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association disagrees with the statewide legislation saying it could hurt the restaurant business.
"We're opposed to the statewide smoking ban," said MHRA Director, Mike Cashion. "Primarily because we believe that business owners should have the right to set their smoking policy based on consumer demand."
Cashion says the measure should be left up to municipalities to decide rather than a demand from the state.
"We're at a point where we need to make sure that policy that's being created doesn't do any harm to the business community and the restaurant industry specifically."
Jeanette Gossett, Meridian resident, is a supporter of the ban and says she understands first-hand the dangers of second hand smoke.
"I am a lung cancer survivor who never smoked," Gossett said. "And most of my exposure came from the work place. I had office jobs where smoking was allowed."
Lawmakers are expected to address this legislation by Feb. 1st.
Monday, May 20 2013 8:21 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:21:00 GMT
Jackson Police are investigating a homicide in west Jackson Monday after a body was discovered inside a residence on Arbor Vista Boulevard. According to Officer Colendula Green with JPD, officers haveMore >>
Jackson police have released the identity of the man found dead in a west Jackson house Monday morning.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-05-21 01:37:07 GMT
A body discovered in Clinton Saturday night has led to a homicide investigation. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart confirms a body was discovered, although few other details are known. The bodyMore >>
Clinton Police Department's Interim Chief Mike Warren said upon further investigation, it appears a disagreement over a woman may have led to the death of a Jackson man.
Monday, May 20 2013 7:22 PM EDT2013-05-20 23:22:22 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains are mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 12:10 PM EDT2013-05-20 16:10:06 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president. "It's more than just me representingMore >>
Arlington High School senior Taylor Flake thought she was making history when her classmates elected her to be the school's first African-American class president.
So when the school started planning for the commencement, Flake said she was shocked to find out that she was not among those chosen to speak.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 2:26 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:26:49 GMT
Hinds County sheriff's deputies seized five pounds of marijuana and made two arrests as the result of a three-month investigation. Sheriff's office officials say the northeast Jackson investigation isMore >>
Hinds County sheriff's deputies seized five pounds of marijuana and made two arrests as the result of a three-month investigation.More >>
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >>
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 1:43 PM EDT2013-05-20 17:43:49 GMT
The Alabama man charged in the 2010 murder of a Clinton woman is on trial this week in Hinds county. James Hutto is charged with capital murder in the death of 81-year-old Ethel Simpson. ProsecutorsMore >>
The Alabama man charged in the 2010 murder of a Clinton woman is on trial this week in Hinds county. James Hutto is charged with capital murder in the death of 81-year-old Ethel Simpson.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:35 PM EDT2013-05-20 02:35:37 GMT
Authorities have recovered the body of a 10-year-old boy who apparently drowned after an all-terrain vehicle overturned in a Mississippi creek. The search for the boy's younger brother continued Sunday. ColumbusMore >>
Authorities have recovered the body of a 6-year-old boy who apparently drowned after an all-terrain vehicle overturned in a Mississippi creek. The search for the boy's older brother continued Sunday.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201