The issue has been before the council for two months, but it came to a conclusion Monday with a clear message from bar owners and some customers that they did not want one.
After hearing from the speakers, the council did not act on a planned letter seeking more information, and tabled the proposed ban indefinitely.
"In my opinion, we already have a smoking ban in Powell; it is self-imposed," Hillman said. "I think it's time we put this thing behind us. Let's let the people make their own choices. That's my opinion."
Hillman said he and his wife are former smokers, and when they go out to eat and have a few drinks, they choose to go somewhere where smoking isn't allowed. It's all a matter of choice, Hillman said, and that goes for business owners, too.
"I feel everyone has a right to run a business as they see fit and that's their business," he said, eliciting applause from the audience.
James Andrews, La Vina Package Liquors general manager, was the first anti-ban speaker. Andrews said he had spent the last two weeks reading 37 second-hand smoking studies, and "none of them, none, show definitive scientific evidence" that second-hand smoke is dangerous to people's health.
Meldon McCullough, owner of The Peaks in downtown Powell, said everybody he speaks with is against the proposed ban. Putting one in place is an "infringement on their freedoms," McCullough said. He said the people who support it don't come into bars.
Gene Olmsted, a longtime Park County resident who served as a police officer in Cody and Powell, said he was speaking as a non-smoker.
"My big question right now is, 'How do you ban a legal substance?'" Olmsted said.
He said the people behind the anti-smoking effort are part of a "back-door way to ban other things" that they are opposed to.
He drew the loudest round of applause from the audience.
While four people were on the agenda to speak about health and the negative impact of smoking, only one came forward to speak.
John Vipperman, a physician's assistant from the Big Horn Basin Regional Cancer Center, said there are many reasons people need smoke-free environments.
"I see a lot of tobacco-related cancers," Vipperman said. "One of the ways we can help curb that is through clean indoor air."
Sharon Altermatt, a Prevention Management of Park County team leader, brought the issue before the council in June. Altermatt attended the meeting but did not speak.