Augusta smoking ban advocates to launch education campaign

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 4:16 PM
Last updated 9:13 PM
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Get ready for round two in the fight to pass a tougher smoking ordinance for Augusta.

Health advocates have scheduled a news conference for 11:30 a.m. Thursday to respond to the Augusta Commission’s rejection of a stricter ordinance last month and to announce an education plan on the dangers of secondhand smoke.

“We’re going to share some of the culpability in that decision by taking notice that maybe we didn’t do a good enough job to educate and make the community aware of the adverse effects of second-hand smoke,” said Eric Bailey, the Georgia grass-roots advocacy director of the American Can­cer Society.

Georgia law bans smoking in most public places where there could be children, such as most restaurants, but allows it in bars and places that do not admit anyone younger than 18.

The stricter ordinance, pushed by the Rich­mond County Board of Health and a coalition of health advocates, would have banned smoking in all public places, at outdoor work sites and in vehicles with children 14 and younger. Advocates have said it is necessary to offer a smoke-free workplace to employees of places where smoking is permitted.

Commissioner Corey Johnson, who had pushed the ordinance, will be one of the speakers appearing with the Breatheasy Augusta Coalition, along with health board member Jack Padgett.

Bailey said he wouldn’t characterize the ordinance as a political issue for the upcoming commission races.

“However, we would like for the commissioners to know, whether they are new incoming members or tenured members, that this will be an issue that they are going to have to take up,” he said. “This issue is not going away.”


WHAT: The Breatheasy Augusta Coalition will hold a news conference to respond to the defeat of a tougher smoking ordinance and to announce an education campaign.

WHEN: 11:30 a.m. Thursday

WHERE: Augusta-Richmond Count Municipal Building, 530 Greene St.

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socks99 03/20/12 - 04:46 pm
It's unfortunate local media

It's unfortunate local media does not, apparently, have the resources or inclination to "smoke out" the facts about those trying to get the local commission to ban smoking. They ought not be allowed to monopolize the policy-making process in the way they have. Even when they get the "no," message, they are bumped-up and encouraged to try again!

No one wins when these groups gain another success -- a more comprehensive ban or higher tobacco taxes -- and no one's health, including that of non-smokers, is materially improved.

What these advocates want, but refuse to say, is the total Prohibition of the use of tobacco. If they'd be willing to honestly reveal their true goals, then perhaps policy-makers should take another look. As is, as with their original dishonesty and clandestine agenda, no one should ever expect the truth from these folks.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 03/20/12 - 04:50 pm
Augusta needs an ordinance

Augusta needs an ordinance saying that when a motion is defeated, no motion on that topic (even with wording changes) can be introduced for two years. That includes motions that Paul Simon wants brought back up and it also includes re-zoning motions.

GaStang22 03/20/12 - 05:13 pm
"Advocates have said it is

"Advocates have said it is necessary to offer a smoke-free workplace to employees of the places where smoking is permitted."

How about those who don't wish to work in a smoking environment work somewhere else. No different than someone offended by nudity choosing not to work at a strip club. Or someone allergic to cinnamon not going to work at cinnabon!!

Stop trying to dictate everyone because you have a bunch of grown adults lacking the common sense or common decency to not visit a place they don't like the atmosphere of and force others to conform to them! This is supposed to be a free country!!! You need to add all allergens to that law. Don't discriminate. Include incense in stores and incense and candles in church. Stop them all!!!!

copperhead 03/20/12 - 08:32 pm


smartin1955 03/21/12 - 09:42 am
This reporter is correct in

This reporter is correct in saying that this will not go away! As long as the Cancer Society can continue to use YOUR donations (you gave them to find a cure for cancer with) for lobbying, and as long as the Breathe Easy group keeps getting money for pushing bans to increase the sales of Nicoderm and Nicorette for Johnson and Johnson, and as long as the paper gets ad money from pro ban groups, this will not go away. And these people have BIG money, my friends! Small locally owned bars are closing across America. That is WHY the Indiana House and Senate passed a statewide smoking ban, last week, that exempted BARS. That's why Kansas, right now, is working House Bill 2690, to exempt adults only venues from the ban. Wonder why the paper acts like no one knows about this? Illinois has been crushed by the ban there. Michigan and Ohio and Nebraska, have lost hundreds of locally owned businesses!
Big restaurant/bar chains buy big ads in the paper. Little bars do not. Big retaurant/bar chains make big campaign donations. Little bars do not.
Funny that the pro ban people say that voting for a ban is good for your political future. In the first House election after the Kansas ban passed, 18 Legislators who voted for the ban, GOT THE BOOT! (Including a State Senator who thought he was going to go to Washington. Wrongamundo! The Senator who voted against the Ban is now the First Kansas District Rep in Washington. Always remember, when someone says they are doing something for your health, follow the money!

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