A smoking ban in North Charleston's future?

Tom Walker enjoys a cigarette at DIG's in Park Circle

By Lia

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) It's not the first time and it probably won't be the last that North Charleston discusses a smoking ban.

"I'm against it," Councilman Bobby Jameson said. "We shouldn't mandate where someone can and cannot smoke."

Jameson has fought against a proposed ban ever since elected to council and is ready to go to bat again.

"We need to protect our citizens but at the same time preserve their rights."

The last time a proposed ban was discussed was in 2008, but it became of topic again at Thursday's Public Safety Committee meeting.

If it passes, the ban would be recommended to council and would have to pass two readings before becoming an ordinance.

Right now, businesses have made it their personal choice whether to allow smoking or not at their establishments. The ban would not allow smoking in any public space.

Park circle pub, Madra Rua, allows smoking inside, but also has a non-smoking section.

"We definitely increased business when opened the non-smoking side, general manager Jenny Ford said.

She said while the ban wouldn't hurt business she appreciates being able to make the decision on what is right for her business.

"The way we feel now about it is that we are probably going to make the decision to go non-smoking anyway, but we just don't feel the government should tell{}us what to do."