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Paducah, KY

Local man protests smoking ban

Local business owner protests smoking ban
By: Erica Byfield

PADUCAH, Ky. - As of Wednesday the city of Paducah had been smoke-free for 88 days.  That's the exact number of days since one Heartland man started his protest against the ban.

"I was raised that if you're right you stick to your guns and I think I'm right," said Dickie Todd.  Therefore, he says that is the motto he is using to operate his pool hall.

"I just want to run my business the way I think it should be run," said Todd.

If you're going to play pool at Side Pockets expect to see and smell smoke even though it is in violation of Paducah's No Smoking Ordinance.

Todd feels so strongly about it he stuck a sign on the front door that says, "This is a smoking facility."

"I think pretty much it explains itself," he said. 

Leaders in Paducah don't see it that way.

Mayor Bill Paxton says he expects citizens to follow the ordinance.

On June 7th, a local police officer gave Todd a citation for blatantly allowing a patron to smoke.

"The citation itself, I think it is unjust," said Todd. 

Todd hired lawyer Jeremy Ian Smith to fight it.  He filed a motion Tuesday to dismiss the states case based on the constitutionality of the ordinance.

"This isn't just some guy on the southside trying to stick it to city hall," said Smith.  "It's a business owner on the southside trying to make a living." 

Dickie Todd says he's lost a huge chunk of his profits since the city imposed the ban.

"Business is down probably 40 to 50 percent overall, which is a substantial loss and I'm going to do what everything I can to get it back," said Todd.   

Even if that means battling it out in court. 

There's one place inside Side Pocket where you can't smoke and that is over the pool tables. Todd said that is just the way he likes it.

Right now, Dickie Todd faces a $50 fine, but if he gets two more in 12 months he could lose his operating license.

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