The Ketchikan City Council will begin the process of investigating a citywide smoking ban that could include bars and restaurants, as the topic has been added to the agenda of its Thursday, May 15 meeting.
While no vote will be called on the matter, it is the first step in gauging public response to the ban as well as the feasibility of implementing it. The discussion comes at the request of Councilman Marty West, who told KRBD-FM that she has received several requests from community members wanting a ban, describing it as “quite a little firestorm.”
West proposed a similar ban nearly 10 years ago, and was the lone vote in support of it at the time, however she indicated she thinks public sentiment towards smoking in bars and restaurants might have changed enough to pursue the matter again. She noted that several bars in the city have decided to go smoke-free on their own since her original proposal.
Earlier this year, House Bill 380 was introduced in an attempt to expand the state’s list of places where smoking is prohibited. It didn’t make it out of the House Health & Social Services Committee before the legislature wrapped up its latest session on April 20.
Ketchikan is home to approximately 8,250 residents, making it the fifth largest city in the state. It is also the southeasternmost city in the state.