The Greenville City Council approved a first reading on an ordinance that would tighten the ban on smoking cigarettes at restaurants in the city earlier this week.

According to Mayor Pro Tem David Sudduth, the new ordinance is an attempt to close some loopholes in the ban that was passed in 2006. The current ordinance bans smoking cigarettes inside restaurants and within 10 feet of a building’s entrance.

"The message is that you can come to the city of Greenville and enjoy dinner or you can enjoy drinks without having to smell secondhand cigarette smoke," Sudduth said.

Sudduth said the new smoking cigarettes ordinance would expand the current smoking cigarettes ban to include outdoor decks where food and drinks are served, private clubs and public playgrounds.

"It will basically apply to anywhere indoor or outdoor where food or beverage can be served," he said.

Sudduth said the ordinance will come up for a second reading at the City Council meeting on June 27.

Some smokers say the expanded ban is going too far.

Arron Sisk said, "The cars put off more pollutants than a cigarette does. You ban cheap cigarettes from outside, you might as well ban the cars from outside."

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