Anti-smoking crusade won't die - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Anti-smoking crusade won't die

December 27, 2004

 

Albany-- Smokers and non-smokers are gearing up for a fight at the state capitol. A restrictive statewide smoking ban didn't make it through the General Assembly last year, but the sponsors have already pre-filed the bill, ensuring it will get a lot of attention when lawmakers return to Atlanta next month.

If you want to smoke at the Harvest Moon in downtown Albany, this is the only place you can do it- a martini bar that s separated from the rest of restaurant.

"It's closed off, and I mean there should be no problem with that. I feel like the problem s been taken care of." Non-smoker Laura Hobson thinks Albany's smoking ban is fair. "If you don to want to be around smoke, then you have the choice not to be around smoke.”

In Albany, you can smoke in a bar, but restaurants must have an isolated smoking area or prohibit smoking altogether. A proposed statewide ban would be much more restrictive.

"In one word . . . silly." Smoker Nicholas Mika thinks it a waste of time and resources to crack down on people who choose to light up. "Somebody will be crying 'rape' and they'll say leave them alone we've got a smoker here, because it seems that smoking sometimes is worse than other things that should be taken care of."

 The proposed ban would outlaw smoking in virtually any public building in Georgia, and even outside within 25 feet of those buildings.

Some smokers say that just goes too far. "It s one of our freedoms that we enjoy in the United States, or we should be able to If we choose to drink or we choose to smoke, we should be allowed to do that."

State lawmakers could decide just where you’ll be allowed to do that in the future early next year.

posted at 12:00AM by ben.roberts@walb.com