City leaders closer to smoking ban

City leaders closer to smoking ban
By: Erica Byfield

Paducah, KY - There's no doubt, in Kentucky, tobacco is a cash crop. Now the only question looming in Paducah is where you can smoke it.

The possible answer could be in one of these two ordinances.
The first basically does away with smoking in public places, but allows for three exemptions of private organizations, tobacco warehouses and retail tobacco stores. 
The second ordinance permits two more exemptions of truck stops and bars whose gross revenue is more than 80 percent due to alcohol.
"Smoking is detrimental to people's health but they choose to do that," said Paducah Commissioner Robert Coleman, considered by most as the swing vote.

That's because Mayor Bill Paxton supports a ban along with Commissioner George Sirk. But Commissioner David Guess says he against any regulations on smoking. And the fifth commissioner, Buz Smith, pulled himself out of the vote stating a conflict of interest.

"I'm in favor of a smoking ban with some exemptions," said Coleman, "a ban that does not exempt anyone I think could be unfortunate and I think that would provoke legal problems."     
Mayor Bill Paxton said by phone, Tuesday afternoon, he'll only go forward with an ordinance if the vote is three to one.  So, for now all eyes are on Commissioner Coleman.
"I'm steadfast in my position, I don't flip flop and I won't flip flop tonight."
If an ordinance is selected it will need to go through two readings and a final vote before it's enforced.