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City leaders want to expand smoking ordinance

Some city leaders want to expand a smoking ban in the capital city to include restaurants but exempt bars.

Jackson City Councilman Marshand Crisler is pushing for the exemption for bars, saying preventing people from lighting up while having a drink could discourage tourism.

However, Crisler says prohibiting smoking in restaurants is appropriate.

Council President Leslie Burl McLemore opposes the revisions to the 2003 ordinance, but has agreed to place the item for consideration on the council’s June 17 agenda.

The proposed ban originally included all restaurants and bars, but the council’s planning committee passed a compromise version in late March.

Jackson’s 2003 ordinance prohibited smoking in bingo parlors when a game is in progress, shopping malls, sports arenas and other enclosed structures. It exempted bars and restaurants.