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Smoking ban going back to the Augusta Commission with potential tweaks

Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 5:44 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 1:41 AM
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A proposed tougher smoking ordinance will go back to the Augusta Commission after a committee voted to move it forward without a recommendation after suggesting some potential changes. Commissioner Corey Johnson, the chairman of the Public Service Committee, said he thinks it has the votes to pass.

“I think everybody is pretty confident in it,” he said.

General Counsel Andrew Mac­Kenzie asked for guidance on a number of areas previously raised by committee members and public hearings. The new ordinance, for instance, would not affect electronic cigarettes.

“It’s not a factor in my opinion,” Johnson said.

Advocates for e-cigarettes say they do not emit a harmful vapor, while health advocates say they have not been studied enough and, because they look so similar to cigarettes, should be banned to make enforcement easier.

No one from the public spoke at Monday’s meeting, and none of the previous adherents and opponents appeared to be in the audience.

The proposed ordinance would also ban smoking in a vehicle with children 14 and younger, as Arkan­sas and California do. It would allow smoking on city property if it is leased or rented, but not in the building itself.

Commissioners debated allowing existing businesses that have a separate room for smoking with separate ventilation, whether to cover private clubs and whether to allow smoking in a bar in 20 percent of its outdoor area if it is at least half the size of the indoor area.

Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles, who has voiced opposition to the tougher ordinance, said the city should draw a distinction between bars and restaurants.

“People go to a bar to drink and smoke,” he said. “They go to a restaurant to eat.”

While there might be “a few” that will not support the ordinance, John­son predicted that most will side with it.

“I don’t think it is something that the majority of the commission will have a hard time with,” he said. “It promotes a healthy environment.”

WHAT’S NEXT

The Augusta Commission meets next at 5 p.m. Feb. 21.

Comments (30) Add comment
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TK3
562
Points
TK3 02/13/12 - 11:35 pm
0
0
It is NOT the business of

It is NOT the business of government to run local business and telling bars, restaurants who they can serve, smokers or non-smokers, is doing just that.
Let business decide weather to serve smokers and let customers use the power of their businesses to effect any changes.
Big Brother has enough to handle already !

TK3
562
Points
TK3 02/13/12 - 11:44 pm
0
0
Whether the government has

Whether the government has the power to ban smoking in the first place should be addressed and they should hold their meetings outside despite the weather!

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 02/14/12 - 02:41 am
0
0
These commissioners for this
Unpublished

These commissioners for this ban make me nauseous. All this effort into infringing on others rights just to protect grown adults who cant use common sense to NOT go to a smoking establishment, something that would only affect them a couple hours every once in a while, but not one finger lifted to do something about repeat offending drunk drivers, nothing to protect hard working tax payers neighborhoods from being infested by non working, gov't dependent baby factories and criminals. You want to protect adults who cant use common sense to stay away from smoke that may or may not affect them years from now, but immediate problems like your whole family dying from a drunk driver or your family being unsafe in their own neighborhood because they forced section 8 on your neighborhood and repeat offending violent criminals given 10-15 chances are ok. Just plain sickening!!!!!

cozzster
50
Points
cozzster 02/14/12 - 02:42 am
0
0
Banning smoking is for the
Unpublished

Banning smoking is for the greater good. Stop crying. I don't go to restaraunts that allow smoking and I don't even like walking into walmart smelling the smoke of smokers who are too lazy to walk away from the entrance. Do the decent thing and go smoke your cigarette in the sewer where you belong.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 02/14/12 - 04:55 am
0
0
The government knows what is

The government knows what is best for us all. They are on our side and are here to help us. Quityerbellyachin and PAY YOUR TAXES! Leave the decisions to the government!

jmo
16639
Points
jmo 02/14/12 - 07:47 am
0
0
I can't wait for it to pass.

I can't wait for it to pass.

nanowerx
1334
Points
nanowerx 02/14/12 - 08:08 am
0
0
Thank you Augusta government,

Thank you Augusta government, you know how to protect me and my health more than I do. Please let me know more unconstitutional laws that kills the rights of the private business owner. Keep in mind that there are already establishments that self-imposed a smoking ban....why must the government tell the others what to do?

If you don't like smoke, don't go to that bar. Is that all that difficult? Oh wait, apparently it is, because the moral authority will reign their opinion down upon the masses. America...land of the free? Psh.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 02/14/12 - 08:30 am
0
0
For the folks that don't know

For the folks that don't know what to wear-uniform of the day is with carry raincoat.

Austin Rhodes
2903
Points
Austin Rhodes 02/14/12 - 08:41 am
0
0
The Government should NEVER

The Government should NEVER attempt to regulate LEGAL behavior on private property.

That said...people who smoke in close quarters around people who don't are selfish, nasty, stinky, and inconsiderate. No different than a schmuck who breaks wind in a crowded, closed elevator. NO DIFFERENT.

cozzster
50
Points
cozzster 02/14/12 - 08:46 am
0
0
You know, for those of you
Unpublished

You know, for those of you crying about the government, why don't you just go live in another country if the US is THAT bad? Then your life would be so much better right?

cozzster
50
Points
cozzster 02/14/12 - 08:47 am
0
0
I hear Syria is looking for a
Unpublished

I hear Syria is looking for a new leader. Maybe you could start there.

Little Lamb
46851
Points
Little Lamb 02/14/12 - 08:48 am
0
0
Austin has a point.

Austin has a point. Flatulence gases are more toxic than cigarette smoke, and they cause global warming.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 02/14/12 - 08:50 am
0
0
That will be next Austin

That will be next Austin Rhodes! 1 year in prison and $50OO fine for breaking wind in an elevator! Only if it is crowded,though.

seenitB4
90642
Points
seenitB4 02/14/12 - 08:57 am
0
0
Let people use their good

Let people use their good common sense pleeeze....& Austin ...do you always have complete control over the elevator thingy??

Riverman1
86773
Points
Riverman1 02/14/12 - 09:02 am
0
0
SeenIt, LOL. Now that was

SeenIt, LOL. Now that was funny.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 02/14/12 - 09:14 am
0
0
Folks should be taxed on all

Folks should be taxed on all carbon emissions! Taxes-that's the answer. If smokers start paying $1OO tax per pack,they will quit! Mission accomplished! THEN on to the next "unhealthy" tax. The government could tax transfat-$1OOO per gram. Sugar-$5OO per gram. Imagine the revenue this would raise! They could tax us on the unused calories! If you consume 12OO calories and only use 1OOO,tax must be paid on the wasted 2OO. THIS would raise more $ for the government to spend on needed programs such as aide to iraq or iran.

maddog
27
Points
maddog 02/14/12 - 09:19 am
0
0
I'm so glad I don't live in

I'm so glad I don't live in Augusta, and now that I'm retired I rarely even have to enter that city.

dichotomy
34325
Points
dichotomy 02/14/12 - 09:20 am
0
0
They can't balance a budget,

They can't balance a budget, cut spending, or agree on anything having to do with their prime duties, but they can always come together to raise your taxes and infringe on the rights of individuals and businesses.

bigclaude
339
Points
bigclaude 02/14/12 - 09:21 am
0
0
I'll make you a deal Austin.

I'll make you a deal Austin. If you stop getting on the air while your chewing food then I will stop smoking in close quarters and breaking wind in elevators.

seenitB4
90642
Points
seenitB4 02/14/12 - 09:26 am
0
0
LOL...at Bigclaude!!

LOL...at Bigclaude!!

Riverman1
86773
Points
Riverman1 02/14/12 - 09:29 am
0
0
Dang, I ride elevators most

Dang, I ride elevators most everyday. Y'all are making me paranoid.

Cocomommy
51
Points
Cocomommy 02/14/12 - 09:38 am
0
0
I lived in Athens, GA when

I lived in Athens, GA when the city of Athens placed a smoking ban on bars and restaurants. I cannot express how much more enjoyable it was to frequent establishments after the ban, and no one seemed to have a problem with going out to patios to enjoy a smoke. If you want to sit and smoke- stay home; if you wish to sit and enjoy the company of others- realize that your addiction is not something that should inconvenience the experience and enjoyment of others. To those claiming that regulating smoking is a government overreach - the government also has a responsibility to protect the rights and health of non-smokers. I can't believe people are even arguing with the idea of banning smoking in front of minors. If the government won't protect those who cannot speak up for themselves, who will? Change is hard but necessary for progression. We know the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke. Stop arguing with the facts and putting others in danger for the convenience of inconsiderate addicts.

seenitB4
90642
Points
seenitB4 02/14/12 - 09:53 am
0
0
Just remember rm...some

Just remember rm...some people evidently have more control over body functions than others.....sooo just pick & choose wisely when entering the elevator...I will think too when choosing riders.:)

Riverman1
86773
Points
Riverman1 02/14/12 - 09:55 am
0
0
"I will think too when

"I will think too when choosing riders.:)"

Not a bad thing to do no matter the subject.

creolechick
72
Points
creolechick 02/14/12 - 10:35 am
0
0
I sure hope this passes! I

I sure hope this passes! I would actually patronize more bars - especially downtown if they weren't so smoky. I don't go anywhere that allows smoking.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/14/12 - 10:56 am
0
0
I can understand the issue

I can understand the issue people have with cigarette's stinky smell. I feel the same way about heavily perfumed individuals and also those who have alcohol breath. If you want to bathe in cologne or have halotosis then i think you should stay home. Not everyone's nose or sinuses have a tolerance for it. You need to realize that your perfume or alcohol addiction is not something that should inconvenience the experience and enjoyment of others. I'd like to be able to sit with my friends or play a game of darts without dealing with your drunk, obnoxious, overly perfumed, bad breath self. (sarcasm)

toenail
5
Points
toenail 02/14/12 - 11:32 am
0
0
When governments tell

When governments tell business owners how to conduct their business, there will be fewer businesses for the government to tell in Augusta! Governments should stick to maintaining the infrastructure, and leave the running of businesses to business owners. Let the consumers decide with their pocketbooks!

Bizkit
32852
Points
Bizkit 02/14/12 - 11:34 am
0
0
Get over it!! Remember the

Get over it!! Remember the private club the Buffallo Room which was deprived their liquor license for not serving african-americans. They closed. Not even a private club has protection and would not likely allow smoking. Ridiculous taint it.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 02/14/12 - 11:50 am
0
0
"is not something that should
Unpublished

"is not something that should inconvenience the experience and enjoyment of others"

You mean like how grown non smoking adults do to private businesses because they can't use common sense to just go to a non smoking establishment??

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 02/14/12 - 01:42 pm
0
0
We don't need any additional

We don't need any additional government regulations concerning what adults can do within legal private businesses. Too many "do gooders" trying to ban everything, give me a break. I hate cigarette smoke but I can easily avoid in when going out.

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