First Reading of NMB Smoking Ban passed

North Myrtle Beach city leaders met Monday night about a possible smoking ban.

City council passed a first reading restricting smoking and e-cigarettes. The ban would make smoking illegal in government buildings, restaurants and other public places. Smoking in public parks would be limited to certain areas.

"The proposed ordinance will come up for second reading during city council's regularly scheduled meeting on February 6th at 7:00 p.m. In North Myrtle Beach, a proposed ordinance must pass two readings before City Council before it becomes law," City spokesman Pat Dowling said via email.

The first reading passed 4-3.

Many residents at the meeting were also split on the ban.

"For the health of the people and for people who do not smoke, we need to have a non-smoking state," said Rose Cameron.

"I just think with so many places being smoke free already that there doesn't really need to be a ban. I just don't think it needs to be government regulated," Hugh Gassaway said.

The group Smoke Free Horry says North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach are the last two major coastal resort cities in the Southeast without smoking bans.