There are two counties in Mississippi that have passed county-wide smoke free ordinances! In 2002, the Delta town of Metcalf passed the first comprehensive smoke free ordinance. Since then, 136 cities and towns have followed suit. This is quite a feat, yet covers only 32% of the state.
There have been many attempts to pass a statewide law, but unfortunately the state legislature will not entertain the subject. As such, advocates started asking what can be done. They decided to work on efforts to pass smoke free ordinances in more cities, while also looking at unincorporated areas of the state.
As a result, Yalobusha and Madison Counties have done just that – passed county-wide smoke free ordinances! The latest county, Madison, adopted a comprehensive smoke free ordinance on Monday, June 19. Jan Collins, American Heart Association state advocacy committee member, and Rochelle Culp, Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition Director, have worked tirelessly for nearly two years to get this ordinance passed. Collins, who is also the director of the Madison County Business League, feels that this is a great step for the county, as it will create a healthier workforce and will therefore attract more businesses to the county.
MANY congrats to all the advocates who have worked passionately to make their communities healthier!