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Rock Hill, York County Consider Public Smoking Ban

A smoking ban for restaurants is on the menu at a public forum tonight in Rock Hill. South Carolina law prohibits cities and counties from banning smoking in public places. But the state Supreme Court ruled against that law in March, clearing the way for Rock Hill and York County to clear their air. Rock Hill City Manager Carey Smith says local officials were interested in a smoking ban long before the court ruling. "Certainly the supreme court resolved a lot of the legal concerns," says Smith. "And I think that provided the impetus for this information forum." He says smoking is already against the rules in buildings owned by the city. Tonight's meeting will consider extending that prohibition to buildings that are privately-owned, but open to the public - such as restaurants and stores. If Rock Hill and York County do enact a joint public smoking ban, it will be among the first in South Carolina. The public forum will be held from 6 - 7:30 p.m. tonight in Rock Hill City Council Chambers.