News 12 at 11, June 10, 2007
GLOVERVILLE, SC-- A Gloverville business owner is smoking mad after the Aiken County Council passed a smoking ban that went into effect on the first of the month. Now he is taking his message to the street.
At Gloverville's Midway Grill, the message is clear. Council members should butt out of their business. And to make the point, owner Bill Hamilton posted a message on the sign that reads "No Smoking No Council Members."
"I'm a hundred percent deadly serious. I don't want their business. I don't need their business." says Hamilton.
A smoker himself, he says it's not about the inconvenience of having to light up outside. Instead he says he fears what precedence the ban will set. "The biggest issue with this is they are telling me what I can and cannot do with my business and that bothers me. It's my business today and tomorrow it'll be my home."
And his message doesn't stop with the sign by the road. On the doors, a no smoking sign, followed by "You can thank your Aiken County Council." And "Remember these folks at election time."
It's a message even his non smoking customers appreciate. "I think it's a hoot and I’m really glad that he did that." Says Wanda Braxton.
"Yeah I'd boot them out too, if they want to pass no smoking, then don't serve them. It's the same kind of deal ain't it? It's what's fair." adds Jeffrey Gentry.
Hamilton says it's still not clear whether he'll lose money from the smoke-out, but until there's a state wide mandated smoking ban,
council members will have to wait until the smoke clears before being welcomed back.
Hamilton says he would like to see the measure put before the state house and voted on. Right now, the smoking ban affects the unincorporated areas of Aiken County. So far the larger cities, like Aiken and North Augusta have not yet adopted a ban of their own