Emporia bars organizing opposition to smoking ban

EMPORIA | Emporia bar owners and employees are organizing opposition to a proposed ban on smoking in enclosed spaces and businesses.

The City Commission plans to have a hearing Monday on the plan, from a group called Clean Air Emporia.

Backers say a ban will protect residents’ health and believe most support the idea.

Critics question whether the ban is enforceable. They also believe it will hurt businesses such a restaurants and bars. Bartender Becky Mishler says many people want to preserve businesses’ owners right to choose whether to allow smoking.

Proposals to impose a statewide ban on smoking on public places have failed to pass the Legislature in recent years.