Conway latest to join list of cities to consider smoking ban

Conway city council met Monday to talk about an ordinance that would prohibit smoking in city limits. The ban would limit smoking in public places like city owned buildings, bingo halls and common areas at restaurants.

"We think it's an issue that needs to be addressed. We'll hold a public input for this on whether or not it should be banned in privately owned business. But council will have the final decision. But it was an issue that needed to come forward," Conway Mayor Alys Lawson said.

Monday's meeting was just a workshop. Council will discuss the ordinance and open the floor to public comment on April 23rd.

Tina Harbin owns Casey and Company in downtown Conway. She's among many downtown business owners who have already put no smoking signs in their windows, but wants more done.

"I think a ban would actually help. I think there are more non-smokers than smokers out there anyway," Harbin said.

Harbin says she's been in her location off Fourth Avenue in Conway for 17 years. Just four days ago, she replaced a bench that had been outside her business, saying it was attracting too many smokers.

"Cigarettes were just littering my sidewalks, my clients didn't like it." she said.

On March 18th, the federal grant funding Smoke Free Horry ran out, but the group plans to stay around indefinitely running as a nonprofit. The money funding Smoke Free Horry comes from the Centers for Disease Control and is a part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work federal grant.

The group has petitioned every municipality and city in Horry County including the county itself. North Myrtle Beach, Atlantic Beach and Surfside Beach have passed no smoking ordinances.

Timmonsville and Florence also have smoking bans.