The Clarion-Ledger, 7/2/8

Personal beliefs collided with political statements Tuesday as council members debated a stricter smoking-ban ordinance.

Ward 1 Councilman Jeff Weill said he smoked his last cigarette in December 1985 but defended “the rights of smokers” as part of his rational for opposing an outright ban.

Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson, who repeatedly has expressed his support for a total smoking ban on his Straight Talk radio show, quit smoking in 1972 under doctor’s orders.

“You can live without cigarettes,” he said. “You can stop smoking.”

Like inspections for restaurants, Bluntson said it is up to government to protect public health. “We do it every day. We tell people what to do,” he said.