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Mitchell City Council Plans To Make Persimmon Festival Tobacco-Free

Last updated on Thursday, March 7, 2013

(MITCHELL) - Mitchell City Council will determine at their April meeting if smoking will be allowed at the Persimmon Festival.

Mayor Gary Pruett explained to the council that Karin DuBois, the tobacco prevention coordinator for Hoosier Uplands, requested the city look at making the festival tobacco free.

Council members liked the idea.

"It would make the festival more family-friendly and enjoyable for everyone," Councilwoman Vicky Schlegel added.

Schelgel added the ordinance would be just one more step to make the festival a clean safe environment for families.

Not only was Schelgel concerned about second-hand smoke, but a child or someone could be injured from a lit cigarette.

"Someone holding a cigarette could not notice a child or someone walking by and they accidently suffer a burn," she added.

Councilwoman Nancy Miller agreed and added it was state law that smokers must stand at least 8 feet from public entrances to smoke and that alone would prevent smoking at the festival.

Councilman Everett Ferrell questions if the ordinance is passed, how it would be enforced.

Pruett believes most people would comply with the new law and added if someone is smoking they would be asked to extinguish it and move to a designated area, created by the festival committee, to smoke.

City attorney Byron Steele told the council he would draft an ordinance to make the festival tobacco-free and present it to the council at their April meeting.

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