Both supporters and objectors showed their emotions as they spoke from behind the lectern. Some held back tears as they spoke of family and friends who died as a result of smoking. Others fought back frustrations while asking why the regulation denies them the right to let people smoke inside a building they own.
The new regulation will ban smoking in public places including businesses, restaurants, bars, galleries, libraries and museums, as well as in health care and day care facilities and in private clubs when used for a public function.
Business owner Mary Kay Haggard asked if smoking is so harmful, then why let farmers grow tobacco? She responded to her own question with an answer: money. And it's the money she paid to start her business that makes the ban unfair, she said.
"No one bought my building, no one paid my upkeep but me," she said, pointing a finger at the crowd. "I worked two jobs, and you're trying to tell me who I can let into my business?"
Mike Irwin said the new rule not only banned smoking, but also citizens' rights.
"I am dead set against this," he said. "Take responsibility for your own life. If you don't like to be in a smoking building, get up and leave."
But Janna Smith, who supports the ban, argued that employees do not get that privilege.
"People talk about the right to get up and leave," she said. "Workers don't have that option."
And finding another job is easier said than done, she said.
Still some speakers said it's business owners, not just their non-smoking employees, who will soon be out of work.
Surrounding counties, including Madison and Fayette, recently adopted a similar ban, but Pamela Massaro knows some Lexington business owners who risk being fined and allow customers to smoke anyway.
"Because if they don't, they'll lose their business," she said.
But Roger Davis owns a business, and he applauded the ban.
"In Lexington, it's a much nicer place to go to a restaurant, because there's no smoke," Davis said.
John Rice observed that businesses in other counties have not crumbled in the wake of smoking bans.
"I don't see barred up buildings and restaurants," he said. "They all seem to be thriving quiet nicely."
Rice went on to argue that no one has an absolute right to smoke. Almost all rights have regulations, such as the freedom of speech and the right to bear arms, he said.
"I like to ride my motorcycle," he said. "But I can't ride it in here."
But some argued that they have an absolute right to smoke-free air.
Alvin Bonds went from smoking cigarettes, to cigars, to pipes and now he doesn't smoke at all. But, when he did smoke, Bond's son would slip his T-shirt over his nose during road trips. Now, Bonds empathizes with his son.
"I have a right to have a free and open space around me," he said.
Ron Kibby said the issue is personal rights versus public health. And public health is the clear winner, he said.
"The issue is the safety of the general population," he said. "That means sometimes individuals have to give up some rights."
By passing the ban, the board of health is trying to take responsibility for the populations' well being, he said.
But not everyone agreed. A handful of speakers argued that it wasn't necessarily the ban they opposed, but the way that it was passed.
Some felt the general public, not just board of health members, should have voted on the ban.
Clint Jones said he tries to keep his children away from second-hand smoke, so when they eat at Golden Corral, they sit in the non-smoking section. He doesn't think smokers need to stand 25 feet away from public places to light up, and that decision should not be made by the board of health.
"The problem is taking the choice out of people's hands," he said. "Look around, there's a lot of empty seats. This has not been done very well."
Ken Groen recommended putting a referendum on the next ballot, so Clark County citizens can decide on the issue.
"Let 20,000 people vote, not 12," he said.
But, after the forum, Lockard said tobacco-related issues cannot be put on a referendum, and second-hand smoke has been at the forefront of health issues in Clark County for a while.
"We've put forth a consorted effort to educate Clark County (about second-hand smoke) for two years," he said. "I've heard people question why we're just talking about the issue."
Richard Heine, owner of the local bowling alley, was willing to talk about the issue. He has some problems with the ban, namely that the ban might quench his business. But he doesn't necessarily oppose the ban.
He just hopes "that non-smokers come in and bowl with me," he said.
Contact Jenna Mink at email@example.com