Over a decade of no smoking in public indoor spaces in Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – On January 24, 2011, Bowling Green’s culture shifted for what some would say the better.

News 40 spoke to Elaine Walker, a former mayor of Bowling Green about the ban that sparked up a lot of controversy. Walker said that many members in the community were irate on both sides of the argument, with public meetings lasting hours.

Smoking in restaurants, the work place and at school was common place from the ’60s on up but slowly, smoking bans began to pop up across the country throughout the decades and Bowling Green was following suit.

Walker said some restauranteurs actually came up to her in private saying that it wouldn’t be a big deal – in fact, they would prefer it.

Bill Waltrip, who was the police chief at the time and also sat on the city commission, also shared his experience. Waltrip said it was a health concern for him as well, considering children and employees who would prefer not to be subject to clouds of smoke in the eatery or wherever they were.

The vote was 2-3 with years of talk on a “clean air” ordinance prior to 2010.