Smoking ban draft in commissioner's hands - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Smoking ban draft in commissioner's hands

March 15, 2004

Cordele-- City Commissioners are likely to table a vote on a proposed smoking ban in the city.

That's because there's more work to be done on a draft ordinance.

But, even before they vote, a state-wide smoking ban could supersede a ban in Cordele.

When you dine at Cutter's Restaurant, you get lots of choices--from the food you eat to the section you sit in. Diner Mike Lee says he can't smell the smoke, "No the smoking section is on the other end of the building, we are on this end, that is good."

Cutter's is unique in that the non-smokers are seated in a separate room from the people who choose to smoke.

But, even in the smoking section here, few were lighting up, and most said a smoking ban inside a restaurant wouldn't bother them. Smoker Maril Griffin says, "I refrain from smoking if there is a law. If people don't object, then of course it is okay to smoke. I don't make an issue of it."

But, smoking inside public places is a political issue, "Right now we are going to look at the proposed draft ordinance our city attorney got prepared for us and all of us commissioners have looked over it."

City Commissioner Jimmy Black got a copy of the first draft on the smoking ban Friday, but says there is a lot of work still to be done, "There are a few questions we want to ask about a few situations with businesses in town that will be involved. We are going to table this until the first meeting probably in April to look at the real details of what this will encompass."

The draft is similar to smoking bans already in existence in Albany and Valdosta, eliminating smoking in public places and restaurants.

For people like Mike Lee, a smoking ban is a good thing, "I just don't like being around a smoking environment." A sentiment driving many cities to ban smoking.

Georgia lawmakers are considering banning smoking in restaurants and all public places statewide. Anti-smoking bills have failed in Georgia since the first attempt in 1995.

Posted at 4:15 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com