New smoking laws not new to Albany -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New smoking laws not new to Albany

Albany- There are about to be fewer places you can smoke a cigarette in Georgia.

Governor Sonny Perdue signed a statewide smoking ban into law today. The new law won't be anything new for many Albany businesses.

Albany's had a smoking ban for several years. Restaurants that have smoking sections already must have a separate ventilation system for that part of the restaurant.

"We have a full service restaurant on this side with a bar," said Scott Dixon, the bartender at Sunset Grill. "We also have a non-smoking section for customers who want to be on the other side, so I mean, we can keep everybody happy here."

The original bill would have banned smoking in virtually all public buildings, but it was watered down before passing the house and Senate.

The law exempts bars and restaurants that don't admit people under 18, private homes, hotel rooms designated for smokers, tobacco stores, long-term care facilities, smoking areas in international airports, meeting rooms at convention facilities not owned or operated by the state and smoking areas designed by an employer which have an independent air handling system.

Violators could be fined between up to $500. It goes into effect in July.

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