The Mississippi State Medical Association wants voters to decide if the state should have an indoor smoking ban. The head of the medical association says after ten years of lobbying the legislature he is feed up with delays.
Supporters of a comprehensive, statewide ban on indoor smoking in public places unfurled a 100 foot long banner down the steps of the Capitol.
It featured more than 10-thousand signatures endorsing the ban.
Medical Association President Dr. Claude Brunson says it is time for lawmakers to pass a ban, and if not, let residents decide.
"Listen to your doctors. Listen to the people. Ban smoking in indoor public places. Make Mississippi a healthier place to live, work and breath. If that pill is just too big to swallow, then put it on the ballot and let the voters decide," Brunson said.
More than 80-Mississippi cities and towns have approved indoor smoking bans, but Brunson says that only covers about 25-percent of the state's population.
The Medical Association has repeatedly met stiff resistance from the hospitality and casino industry that worries about possible negative economic impact.
Senate Public Health Chairman Dean Kirby of Pearl says he does not expect that to change this year.
"So it is very, very controversial and it is something we are looking at. We are going to consider it. But does it have a lot of traction? I don't know. At this point, it appears to be as many for as there are against," Kirby said.
28 states have bans on smoking in all enclosed public spaces.