Augusta Commission panel to reconsider tougher smoking ban

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An Augusta Commission committee is ready to get back to work on a proposed smoking ordinance that would ban lighting up in virtually every public space and some outdoor areas.

The Public Services Committee will meet at 10 a.m. Jan. 18 in the commission chamber at the municipal building for a special work session. The proposed ordinance has been on hold since late October, when the committee voted to send it back to general counsel Andrew MacKenzie to add feedback from two public hearings and suggestions from commissioners.

Commissioner Corey Johnson, who heads the committee, wanted to see whether the ordinance could ban smoking in cars where children are present. Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles questioned the ban’s inclusion of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes.

Advocates have been pushing for a more comprehensive ban like one that was toughened in Savannah, Ga., in 2010. Augusta is under a statewide law that bans smoking in most public places where children could be present, such as most restaurants, but allows exemptions for bars and restaurants where no one younger than 18 is admitted.

The tougher proposal provoked a passionate response at public hearings, with health advocates saying it is needed to protect workers in those businesses where it is now allowed, and bar and business owners predicting it would hurt them.

Staff Writer Susan McCord contributed to this article.

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david jennings
david jennings 01/10/12 - 07:34 am
Now this is Ordinary

Now this is Ordinary Business.

Techfan 01/10/12 - 08:00 am
Ah, the anti smoking Nazis

Ah, the anti smoking Nazis are back.

InChristLove 01/10/12 - 09:17 am
Although I understand the

Although I understand the concern with smoking in cars with children, what about in the home? Next will they ban smoking in your home because you have small children? When will they start controling what we feed our children for lunch and cook for supper.....fatty food is just as harmful. What about sugary drinks like koolaid and sodas? And let's not forget all the candy we allow our children to eat, especially around the holidays.

May sound absurd, but you never know.

stillamazed 01/10/12 - 09:54 am
InChristLove, you are

InChristLove, you are correct! Exactly my fear, government is getting to involved in peoples lives and slowly trying to strip away rights. If a business owner who works and pays taxes on his/her business wants to allow smoking then that should be their right. You don't have to work there or spend your money there if you don't like it. There will be places who may not want smoking. If you don't like smoke then stay away from smokers. What kills me is what I stated yesterday, how government wants to ban this and that and tell us what is healthy and unhealthy yet the FDA allows things like preservatives, hormones and high fructose corn syrup and pesticides that I believe are making people sick to be put in our food. They took cigarette and liquor commercials off TV years ago and what has replaced them is Fast Food (how healthy is that) and drug commercials (yeah keep us all drugged up, we want know any better). Take a look at this, I found it interesting.

bjphysics 01/10/12 - 11:11 am
It’s not about smoke free

It’s not about smoke free air, it’s about the tobacco temperance movement.

Here’s a peer reviewed study from The Journal of Psychology:



In a recent article Markle and Troyer analyze the cigarette controversy as a status battle between pro and antismoking vested interests. They argue that the purpose of the antismoking movement is to lower the status of smokers, symbolically to label smoking as undesirable, unacceptable, and socially deviant behavior, and, hence, to stigmatize and denigrate smokers as social misfits.”


In a recent article Markle and Troyer provide a sociology of deviance interpretation of the long-standing, but recently intensified controversy over cigarette smoking. Markle and Troyer point out that in the late 1960s and the 1970s a variety of laws and regulations were implemented to regulate smoking and the smoker. Drawing an analogy to Gusfield's analysis of the American temperance movement, the authors argue that these strictures were initially assimilative--in the sense of sympathetically trying to aid the repentant smoker to give up his harmful and deviant behavior--but more recently have become coercive--in the sense of angrily engaging the unrepentant smoker as an enemy in a political and legal battle.”

wondersnevercease 01/10/12 - 11:25 am
Yeah..all those bad

Yeah..all those bad not try to clean up the filthy criminal elements on the streets...just those dadgum smokers!

aintryt 01/10/12 - 08:03 pm
People that are against the

People that are against the ban really need to contact their commissioners and show up at the meetings to let them know how they feel. You can find that information at --- There is no law on the books mandating smoking at a business. The establishments that welcome the ban can become non-smoking anytime they wish. They just want to be able to tell the customers that the county made them do it. Let the free market decide whether to go to smoking or non-smoking establishments. The ban doesn't stop there. It pretty much limits smoking to your private residence. What bothers me more about this is half the commissioners didn't even know what an e-cigarette was and were prepared to vote on that issue as well. Can they not take the time to google about a subject before they attempt to vote on a matter? How many other things have they voted on without doing any research?

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