In one month, when Mayor Dan Kemp officially presents to city council an ordinance that would ban smoking in public indoor places, the council members should have a clear understanding of the public’s preference.

Common sense tells us that a large majority favors this ordinance. After all, nearly three-fourths of Christian County residents don’t smoke, we learned from a recent national health report. So if you don’t smoke, it makes sense that you’d rather not inhale secondhand smoke when you go to a store, office or restaurant.

Let’s hope the majority is not silent on this important issue.

If you support the smoking ban — and we logically assume that most of you do — it’s important that you express your opinion to the city council members. Call, email, write, or knock on your representative’s door. Whatever it takes. Between now and May 24, when the mayor will hand his ordinance to the council at its Committee of the Whole meeting, make sure that you’ve had your say. Do not let a minority opinion speak louder.

The mayor’s done his homework on this issue, so supporters have plenty of time to contact council members. The smoking restriction has the support of several local groups, including the Christian County Health Department, the Economic Development Council and the YMCA. If the council agrees to forward this ordinance to a regular meeting, it could be approved by June 19.

Hopkinsville is behind the times on this issue. Twenty-four other cities have smoking legislation. It’s the right thing to do for our economy and for the health of local residents.

This newspaper has consistently supported a smoking ban because we believe the rights of smokers should not override the health of nonsmokers. The scientific evidence is clear. Secondhand smoke is unhealthy. It is a carcinogen. It can cause heart and respiratory diseases.

If you agree, and we know most of you do, then contact your council member and share your opinion.

Here’s a list of the council members and their contact information:

Fred Atkins

885-6165; email: ward1@hopkinsvilleky.us

Kimberly McCarley

885-3498; email: ward2@hopkinsvilleky.us

Don Ahart

886-5670; email: ward3@hopkinsvilleky.us

Paul Henson

885-6129; email: ward4@hopkinsvilleky.us

Charlie Henderson

886-1194; email: ward5@hopkinsvilleky.us

Ann Cherry

886-2225; email: ward6@hopkinsvilleky.us

Peggy Rogers Everett

348-5288, email: ward7@hopkinsvilleky.us

Marby Schlegel

885-4823; email: ward8@hopkinsvilleky.us

Patricia Bell

886-3572; email: ward9@hopkinsvilleky.us

Jimmy Dossett

839-3598; email: ward10@hopkinsvilleky.us

Wesley Grimes

885-9578; email: ward11@hopkinsvilleky.us

Phillip Brooks

886-7274; email: ward12@hopkinsvilleky.us

Don’t assume you are limited to contacting the council member in your city ward. Under local rules, Hopkinsville voters cast a ballot in every ward race during general elections. If you live in the city, every council member represents you. Don’t be silent.  

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