Supervisors OK tobacco ban

Published 7:34 pm Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rankin County supervisors have voted to ban smoking and chewing tobacco in county-owned buildings and vehicles.

Rankin’s ordinance, approved Monday, goes into effect in 30 days.

The ordinance will forbid smoking or chewing tobacco within 25 feet of buildings and inside county vehicles.

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Those caught breaking the rule repeatedly could face a misdemeanor violation and up to a $500 fine. Supervisors say if any of the county’s 400 employees violate the ordinance, they will be punished in accordance to employee handbook policy.

The county operates out of least 12 buildings including the courthouse, the jail and several administrative buildings and has a fleet of more than 100 vehicles.

The county is planning to erect self-produced “Tobacco Free Zone” signs around buildings as a reminder.