Lexington mayor wants to loosen smoking ban to match county ban - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Lexington mayor wants to loosen smoking ban to match county ban

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LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - The mayor of Lexington is considering loosening the rules on smoking outside restaurants.

Mayor Randy Halfacre wants the smoking ban in his community to be more like the county's.

A hot steamy plate of comfort food is just what Walter Brodie was in the mood for on a January day. But he says the barbeque at Hudson's Smokehouse in Lexington would taste even sweeter if he were allowed to light up outside.

"I think smoking or not smoking should be determined by the restaurant," said Brodie.

Owner, Robin Hudson says when the town's smoking ban was first instated in 2008, they took a hit.

"It reduced our resale by about $10,000-$15,000 a month," Hudson said.

He doesn't want people smoking inside his restaurant, but he would like people to be able to smoke out here on the deck.

"I don't smoke in my house, and I don't want people to smoke in our restaurant," continued Hudson. "But I do go in my patio and I do have a cigarette outside and I hope we can do it in the town of Lexington also."

It's something Mayor Randy Halfacre wants the council to consider for fairness sake. At restaurants elsewhere in the county, diners can light up outside.

"Now, I just think we need to make it an even playing field between county and town," said Halfacre.

But some customers on Hudson's deck want things to stay the way they are.

"If someone is smoking outside at the table next to me, it still comes my way so I would probably prefer that smoking is not allowed anywhere where people are eating," said Sherry Watson.

"Certainly being an asthmatic, cigarette smoke does not help me out at all and you just never know what kind of complication someone may have, sitting next to you," said Luther Low.

The Lexington County Council will discuss the issue at a work session on Tuesday night at 6:00pm at the town hall. Residents are invited to attend.

The council will either vote to put the item on the official agenda in February or they will hold it for further study.

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