Folly Beach rejects smoking ban

In a 4-3 vote, Folly Beach City Council decided Tuesday against a citywide smoking ban, while two other Lowcountry communities — Beaufort and Walterboro — passed bans. The Post and Courier reports:

"North Charleston got it right, I believe," Folly Councilman Tom Scruggs said. "Let the businesses decide their destiny, not this government."

Of the nearly 25 people who spoke during a public hearing immediately before the vote, 17 were against the ordinance that would have prohibited smoking in indoor workplaces.

Rejection of the ban was expected, because of strong opposition from business owners. Even the mayor had spoken out against it, as ABC News 4 reports:

Without any influence from town leaders, several bars and restaurants on Folly Beach have already gone smoke-free. It’s a decision Mayor Carl Beckmann Jr. believes should not be left to government.

"I don't think government has the place to tell businesses what they can and can't do," said Beckmann Jr.

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