Tift County considers smoking ban and allowing mixed drinks - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tift County considers smoking ban and allowing mixed drinks

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August 4, 2004

Tifton-- Next week City and County leaders in Tift will vote on whether to ban public smoking and whether to give voters the choice of whether they want to allow the sale of mixed drinks.

Although public opinions may be mixed, economics may play a big role in one of the decision made next week.

If the ever increasing cost of a pack of smokes wasn't enough to encourage smokers in Tift County to kick the habit, a new public smoking ban expected to be passed in the city and county next week may do the trick

Non-smokers filling up at a local gas station weren't very sympathetic to smokers. They say to them the cost to their health is clear.

"They have the right to smoke but I believe we also have the right not to have to breath that smoke," says Patrick Davies.

A lot of people don't smoke and they have to be affected by people who do," says Doris Moore.

Over the past eight years public smoking bans have been voted down twice here. Since then public opinion has changed. But while leaders may put out your cigarette, they may let you buy a drink. They're considering putting a mixed drink referendum on the November ballot.

"I don't think you need the mixed drinks, you don 't have to have them," says Wayne Achord.

"Just the bars and the atmosphere that comes with it can just lead to bigger problems," says Cristi Walker.

But when it comes to choosing one vice over another, county and city officials may want to see more people here mixing it up. City officials say allowing the sale of mixed drinks may stop hundreds of tourists and their dollars from exiting on I-75, in search for wetter counties.

Many believe mixed drinks could bring in cash. So it seems that one bad habit may have more support over another and if smokers don't cry foul now it may be there last chance.

The city and county will hold a special joint meeting at 6:00PM on August 9th to vote on the smoking ban and mixed drink referendum.

posted at 6:40PM by dave.miller@walb.com