HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - After a lengthy and lively discussion about the prospect of limiting smoking within the county, the Horry County Council voted to send two proposed ordinances back to the administration committee for further review.
One of the proposed ordinances would make Horry County property tobacco free, while the second would limit smoking in public places - bars, restaurants and schools, for example - within the unincorporated areas.
There was a lot of back and forth between the members of the governing body regarding the proposals.
Councilman Johnny Vaught started the discussion by going through points in the draft ordinances he had issue with. One made reference to there being no Constitutional right to the use of tobacco and tobacco products.
"It is covered under the Constitution, where it says we are guaranteed the pursuit of happiness," Vaught responded.
The ordinance prohibiting tobacco use on county property appeared to be finished, as it failed first reading on a 6-to-6 vote. Council members eventually voted to give it reconsideration and approved a motion to send it to the administration committee.
As for the proposed ordinance dealing with limiting smoking in public places, which was also ultimately sent back to committee, many on council said it is not for the government to regulate how a person runs their business.
Councilman Cam Crawford said the issue should be left up to economics, and businesses should see where patrons choose to spend their dollars.
Chairman Mark Lazarus noted that several communities have regulated smoking inside businesses and many actually thrived.