South Georgia city bans smoking in some public places - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia city bans smoking in some public places

April 20, 2004

Colquitt County- Tobacco planting is a sight that's becoming much less common in south Georgia fields.

Every tobacco plant Ronald Barksdale puts in the ground of this Colquitt County field will probably turn a good profit.

"It's always been a good money crop for our family," Barksdale said. "And continues to be to some extent."

It's not quite as strong as used to be, but it's still good business.

But today tobacco farmers face many challenges. Most of these plants will turn out to be cigarettes, but they won't be smoked in public places in South Georgia cities that have smoking bans. Now Cordele is one of those. City leaders voted in their new smoking ban.

"It will encompass all businesses in the community that have foyers and gathering places which would be auditoriums, community club houses, businesses, restaurants. Those types of places would be prohibited from smoking," said Commissioner Jimmy Black.

Cordele's smoking ban begins June 1. If you violate the law, you'll get a warning the first time. Then fines of $50 and $100 for subsequent offenses.

Fewer smokers and places to smoke impact how many rows are farmers plant. But even as city-wide smoking bans keep spreading, Barksdale said there will always be a need for this plant.

"I think there will be people that will always use tobacco. Of course it's not as important to people as it used to be."

But growing it is important to his way of life.

posted at 10:39 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com