Springdale bans smoking; 2 others consider it


Springdale on Tuesday became the second town in Lexington County to snuff out smoking in restaurants, bars, stores and offices, and two neighboring communities may do likewise.

The ban in Springdale mirrors limits on lighting up in workplaces in unincorporated parts of the county effective Jan. 1.

It's time for the 11 other county municipalities without bans to follow suit to avert public confusion, Springdale Mayor Pat Smith said.

"We need consistency, not a checkerboard pattern where it's allowed in some places and not in others," he said.

His wish won't happen soon as some communities refuse to restrict where smokers light up.

Officials in Irmo and West Columbia rejected the idea, although supporters are seeking to revive it in both. And officials in Pelion are leaving it up to merchants to decide.

Springdale's ban will affect 85 businesses in the town of 3,200 adjacent to Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

"Being smoke-free is consistent with the town's goal of being family-oriented," Smith said.

Town Council adopted the ban 6-1 after Councilman Kevin Reeley, the only dissenter, said it is "government getting too involved" in lifestyle decisions.

Springdale joins the county and town of Lexington in banning workplace smoking. Columbia, Camden and Richland County also bar it.

Meanwhile, Cayce City Council members agreed Tuesday to look at a ban but put off any decision until after Jan. 1.

"There's interest in it," Councilman Rick Myers said. "But it's going to be a tough issue for us."

Nearby Pine Ridge also is preparing to join in the push for smoking limits.

None of the handful of businesses in the town of 2,000 allows it, so a ban amounts to "re-inforcement of what's already in place," Mayor David Busby said.