Ecru latest town to pass ban on smoking

Published 5:02 pm Friday, January 4, 2008

The board of aldermen in the Pontotoc County town of Ecru have voted to ban smoking in restaurants, stores and most other businesses.

The aldermen on Thursday voted 4-0 with one abstention for an ordinance to ban smoking at indoor places open to the public. Business-related exceptions would be any private shops or offices to which the public is not invited.

Ecru is a town of about 1,050 people in northeast Mississippi.

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“There’s an obligation on the part of the public to protect those who can’t protect themselves,” said Alderman James Speck, a physician, who proposed the ordinance. “I’d like to go on the record as one of the first small towns in Mississippi to have a smoking ordinance.”

Based largely on the American Lung Association ordinance that Tupelo, Oxford, Starkville, Mantachie and some other Mississippi municipalities have adopted, Ecru’s ordinance will also enforce a 20-foot smoke-free zone around building entrances.

It will go into effect next month, officials said.