Multiple Myrtle Beach businesses going smoke free - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Multiple Myrtle Beach businesses going smoke free

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina is one few states that do not have a state-wide ban on smoking. However, as on this month, 52 cities or towns in the state now have smoking bans on all restaurants and bars. Myrtle Beach is not included in that number. Multiple businesses in Myrtle Beach are going smoke-free on their own.

Bumstead's Pub in Myrtle Beach is one of the most recent businesses in the process of going smoke-free after years of allowing smoking. An employee told us they're adding a patio for smokers and it should be open around December. Until the patio is built, smokers can continue to smoke inside the pub. He also said that their location in Surfside Beach is smoke-free because of the town's non-smoking law.

Bill Rippy, owner of Bummz Beach Cafe in Myrtle Beach, said they allowed smoking since they opened. He told us they had to go smoke-free, at least on the inside, because they began losing customers.

“It’s cleaner, it’s a fresher smell,” said Rippy. “You don’t have the residue of smoke collecting on your walls. It is a cleaner atmosphere.”

He said going smoke-free hasn’t brought in new business, but has definitely kept the business they would’ve lost if they continued to allow smoking.

Dirty Don’s Oyster Bar and Grill said they went smoke-free about three years ago after allowing smoking for 11 years. Manager Patrick Carroll said the layout of their restaurant is smaller and made it stuffy, especially if it rained.

“You don’t get that film on everything in here,” said Carroll. “The smoke leaves like a soot, especially on glassware.”

Carroll said they are mainly a tourist area, and when people from other states come in they don’t mind going outside to smoke, because the state they are from probably has a smoke-free law.

Carroll believes that smoking should, however, be up to the owner’s discretion, but he says for Dirty Don’s, it just wasn’t for them.

“For us employees, I can tell you it’s just a cleaner feeling when you leave and you go home…your clothes aren’t all smokey.  You don’t realize it until you go smoke-free, how much better it is to be smoke-free.”

Myrtle Beach City Spokesperson Mark Kruea says Myrtle Beach doesn't regulate smoking on private property.  They don't allow smoking in city facilities or on city buildings' grounds. He also says that council hasn't taken any position on smoking in public places. He believes that rather than it being a piecemeal approach through local laws, it would make more sense to have a standard state-wide rule, as North Carolina does. 

“I don’t know why we haven’t gone smoke-free,” said Carroll. “I think it would benefit all of us. Every other state is doing it with no problems, why can’t we do it?”

“I know several of the other communities have, I don’t know why Myrtle Beach wouldn’t go along with and join the rest of the world heading in that direction,” said Rippy.

Some local owners seem to be divided on whether or not making the change makes them money.

James Magoo, Owner of Magoo’s Sports and Spirits. Magoo’s is about a mile outside of Myrtle Beach’s city limits, but despite some businesses going smoke-free in Myrtle Beach, he believes his business is different. He said businesses like Bummz and Dirty Don’s attract a lot of tourists, which would make sense for them to become smoke-free. His business has many local customers that want to be in a smoking environment. He has his bar designed with smoke eaters and high ceilings to keep the smoke down in his restaurant. And he said not going smoke-free has helped his business. He says they are however prepared to go smoke-free, if there is at state-wide ban.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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