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By JOSHUA COFFMAN
RADCLIFF — They showed up for hot debate and cold treats. But a small turnout chilled expectations.
Supporters of a workplace smoking ban gathered for an ice-cream social Thursday at Colvin Community Center.
About 25 people turned out for the event sponsored by the Hardin County Tobacco-Free Coalition, including a handful of organizers and a couple of City Council members. They enjoyed sundaes and waffle cones as representatives from the healthcare industry and American Cancer Society, among other volunteers, answered questions.
The group sought to raise awareness about the smoking issue and to gauge interest. The coalition touted a survey it sponsored showing four out of five Radcliff residents support a ban.
“Workers’ health is very important,” said coalition member Rod Mattingly, who also works as district tobacco coordinator for Lincoln Trail Health District.
Nora Dettman of Radcliff attended with Sue Powell. They thought more people should have attended, namely city officials and business owners.
Mayor Sheila Enyart said last week the City Council already had its say on the matter and she does not expect it to become a pressing issue.
Most, but not all, who turned out supported a workplace smoking ban, including a ban in restaurants.
Radcliff resident Marilyn Harris, a nonsmoker, attended the event to object to a ban.
“I think everybody should have their own rights,” she said.
Harris chatted with Councilman J.J. Duvall, one of four who voted against a smoking ban last year.
Duvall said he attended Thursday night to see how much of a buzz it would create in the community. He noted that a forum held last April brought out more than 60 people, with most speaking against a ban.
Councilman Stan Holmes also attended. He voted in favor of the ban, along with Don Yates.
“I hope it’s something people want to bring back up,” Holmes said. “As it’s more discussed, the numbers will grow.”
Joshua Coffman can be reached at (270) 505-1740.