Cities set to move on smoking bans

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AIKEN --- Now that the state's top judges say smoking bans are legal, some city leaders are thinking of snuffing out cigarettes.

Though a smoking ban is already in effect in unincorporated parts of Aiken County, city leaders in North Augusta and Aiken held off because of legal challenges in other parts of the state.

But the South Carolina Supreme Court says smoking bans are OK, and last month it overturned a lower court's ruling that struck down a prohibition on lighting up in public places in Greenville.

Officials in North Augusta and Aiken say they're going to talk about implementing similar restrictions in light of the justices' approval.

Dozens of bars and restaurants had sued to overturn the Greenville ban, which is similar to ones in Florida and Georgia. It's similar to Aiken County's, which prohibits smokers from puffing away in most public places.

North Augusta Councilman Arthur Shealy said he predicts the ban the county administrator and attorney have been ordered to draft will pass, but he does have one problem with it.

"I think people should be able to smoke in places like Waffle House," he said. "Traditionally, that's where smokers like to hang around."

Aiken Mayor Fred Cavanaugh won't make any predictions, but he knows the ban will come up for debate.

The city waited for the Supreme Court ruling, he said, because there was no point in enacting a law that could have been overturned.

"I'm not taking a side here," Mr. Cavanaugh said, discussing the property rights and health issues surrounding smoking bans. "Some might feel that if people don't want to visit a restaurant or bar because there is smoking, they don't have to do it. It's obviously over the last few years been a lot of discussion on it."

Aiken County Councilman Scott Singer said he hopes city leaders will adopt the county's ban.

"The municipalities need to make up their own minds," he said, "But I would encourage them to at least explore that possibility."

The North Augusta proposal is expected to be discussed by council members May 5, which will determine how restrictive the city's ban will be if passed.

Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or sandi.martin@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (51)

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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 04/15/08 - 04:13 am
0
0

Individual businesses should

Individual businesses should be able to declare themselves a smoking area if that's the type of customer they cater to. Otherwise smoking should be confined to the smokers house or car. Like any other addiction, it's personal. While I sympathize with the addicts need to use their drug of choice, I'm offended by having to share it when I don't wish. Forcing children to take part in smoking in the confines of a car should be treated like any other child abuse.

s351
0
Points
s351 04/15/08 - 04:14 am
0
0

you know. i think i'll find

you know. i think i'll find out which is the most popular place to eat around here and buy it and make it a smokers only place. then well see how the nonsmokers loke that with it turned the other way.

mutt
2
Points
mutt 04/15/08 - 05:13 am
0
0

This is some seriously Nazi

This is some seriously Nazi BS. Pitting a large group against a smaller one in order to take away personal freedoms via mob rule. Totally not American! This is the kind of crap they do in Islamic countries. This is the kind of junk Hitler did, and Castro too.

g-dog express
0
Points
g-dog express 04/15/08 - 05:26 am
0
0

The restaurants will

The restaurants will discover, including Waffle House, that they will do just fine with a non-smoking restaurant. This isn't Nazi BS but is the kind of law that is overdue in many areas. Why should non-smokers have to put up with that offensive smell while eating or for that matter anyother time?

s351
0
Points
s351 04/15/08 - 05:42 am
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what makes it total bs is

what makes it total bs is that there is no consideration for people who smoke. if nothing else there should be nights set aside for smokers only and that way everyone could go out and enjoy themselves. we smokers have rights just the same as anyone else and that seems to be forgotten somewhere along the line. what is it going to be next the type of clothes you wear, what type of drink you drink the list can go on and on. it has to be fair for everyone or it is total doscrimination no matter how you look at it.

s351
0
Points
s351 04/15/08 - 05:43 am
0
0

what makes it total bs is

what makes it total bs is that there is no consideration for people who smoke. if nothing else there should be nights set aside for smokers only and that way everyone could go out and enjoy themselves. we smokers have rights just the same as anyone else and that seems to be forgotten somewhere along the line. what is it going to be next the type of clothes you wear, what type of drink you drink the list can go on and on. it has to be fair for everyone or it is total doscrimination no matter how you look at it.

g-dog express
0
Points
g-dog express 04/15/08 - 05:53 am
0
0

Your rights? It's one thing

Your rights? It's one thing if you want to slowly kill yourself but you have no right to subject other non-smokers or those who can disipline themselves enough to respect the rights of others to the cancer causing second hand smoke that spews from smokers death wish. Your supposed right to smoke in public places is nothing more that selfishness and potential murder. Discrimination? Get real, look the word up. s351 you're out there in smokers ozone.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 04/15/08 - 06:45 am
0
0

s351, if smokers would inhale

s351, if smokers would inhale and not exhale and not allow their smoldering tobacco fumes to leave their hand, there'd be no problem. It is not a right to force others to share in your addiction. If you feel the need to imbibe, go to your car. Leave the windows up and smoke. You won't offend anyone else and you'll still get your fix. I agree there should be places for smokers only. They should be clearly marked to prevent the non-addicted from entering.

champagne
0
Points
champagne 04/15/08 - 06:59 am
0
0

I am a smoker and living in

I am a smoker and living in Savannah and almost every establishment is non smlking and I really don't have a problem with it. However, I do have a problem with the government telling the owners what they can have and what they can't have but I am used to it.
Will SC have the same law as here where if you do not allow anyone under the age of 18 you can smoke in the establishment. We have one bar/restaurant here in Richmond Hill that is like that and it is our Friday night after work place and it's great. All adults, no children, allows smoking, what more can you ask for.

shivas
2
Points
shivas 04/15/08 - 07:02 am
0
0

I am more offended by obese

I am more offended by obese people who eat like pigs in restaurants. I believe the next ban will be on obesity, as it has worse effects than nicotine, and costs more in healthcare. The right-wing slowly has an agenda to take away all personal freedoms that are distasteful to them, and their fanatical religious views. Once the Patriot act keeps expanding, we'll have cameras watching us eat and smoke in our own home, and our calls to pizza deliver monitored.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 04/15/08 - 07:12 am
0
0

Once again shivas, you ignore

Once again shivas, you ignore the point to perpetuate your rant. If smoking were to remain personal and not be shared with those not addicted, there'd be no problem. Do you support forcing children to share smoke in a closed vehicle? Is that what you call fanatical religious views?

mercyme
0
Points
mercyme 04/15/08 - 07:15 am
0
0

Smokers have an I, Me, My

Smokers have an I, Me, My personality. They do not care about the health of other people that choose not to smoke. Something needs to be done to protect the ones who choose good health practices over bad ones. One can not go anywhere without having to breathe in other peoples nasty bad habits.

dhd1108
1
Points
dhd1108 04/15/08 - 07:25 am
0
0

while they're at it, the

while they're at it, the lawmakers should write up a bill that bans perfume in public places. a good cigar i can handle. but good god, you get some of them teens and yuppie women who just bathe in "eue du" whatever. makes my sinuses go nuts.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 04/15/08 - 07:30 am
0
0

I agree dhd1108, I think the

I agree dhd1108, I think the biggest offender is being addressed first. A good cigar is smoked away from those who don't appreciate them.

mercyme
0
Points
mercyme 04/15/08 - 07:32 am
0
0

Has anyone noticed it's THEIR

Has anyone noticed it's THEIR freedom AND THEIR rights?

mercyme
0
Points
mercyme 04/15/08 - 07:37 am
0
0

Amen to the perfume ban! Why

Amen to the perfume ban! Why do you think they call it per-FUME!

Barry
0
Points
Barry 04/15/08 - 07:56 am
0
0

Why don't they ban children

Why don't they ban children under the age of 18 from sitting in the smoking section? I see little kids in the North Augusta Waffle House smoking section and feel guilty about lighting up. I bet the parents don't feel guilty at all because they smoke in their house with the kids sitting right next to them the whole time.

aintryt
189
Points
aintryt 04/15/08 - 08:28 am
0
0

I've been wanting to do that

I've been wanting to do that for years s351 - the place would stay packed. You can build a very small deck (3 tables or so) for the non-smokers so THEY can freeze or melt while enjoying all that fresh air with their meal.

Honden
2
Points
Honden 04/15/08 - 08:34 am
0
0

I think that an "all smoking"

I think that an "all smoking" establishment would thrive. A customer does NOT have a right to demand anything much less a "non smoking area" The customer can choose not to do business if he/she so desires.

shivas
2
Points
shivas 04/15/08 - 08:56 am
0
0

Let's pass bills allowing

Let's pass bills allowing guns in restaurants, and ban smoking. Oh, we already did that. Patricithomas, why do you defend this communistic practice of banning smoking? See, a true capitalist would believe that supply and demand should drive the decision. For example, non-smokers could go to establishments that banned smoking. Since the majority of people don't smoke, there would seem to be a great market. At the same time, smokers could go to esatablishments that catered to their disgusting habit. No where are children forced to breathe in second-hand smoke except if their parents smoke in the house and car with them. If so, then maybe we can have society define that as abuse and deal with it that way. You far-right wingers are so much into control of people's personal lives, and support spying on them. Soon we'll have rewards for children spying on their parents like the Jr. SS.

karmakills123
8
Points
karmakills123 04/15/08 - 09:16 am
0
0

Summer is coming....ban fat

Summer is coming....ban fat men in speedos.undershirts and bald men with comb-overs and skinny women in mini skirts and please kill any fat woman who wears a sleeveless shirt.....perfume...shaving lotion....blue eyes....brown eyes...ice cream lovers....................................

Republicant
3
Points
Republicant 04/15/08 - 09:30 am
0
0

I agree with PT. I have no

I agree with PT. I have no problem with a smoking ban. If you want to open a resturant that is all smoking, fine. You may be a novelty, but the non-smokers would just not eat there. How many Guys that smoke are going to take a non-smoking date there. If he has to choose, he will take her to the resturant of her choice. If you smoke, you don't realize how foul the smoke is. You don't smell it on your clothes and in your hair. Go ahead and kill yourself, its your right. But for anyone else around you, every cig you smoke they smoke half.

s351
0
Points
s351 04/15/08 - 09:37 am
0
0

what you nonsmokers are not

what you nonsmokers are not looking at is the fact that they are taking it way to far. some places are trying to say that you cant even sit in your own car and smoke. that is going way over the top. and believe me it will not stand up in court. if i want to sit in a public parking lot in my own car and smoke it is my right. but as you see you give them an inch and they take a mile and i for one have had it . these things should work both ways. if an owner wants to cater to smokers he should be able to but the way the law reads now he cant do that because the nonsmokers raise hell.

mercyme
0
Points
mercyme 04/15/08 - 09:51 am
0
0

Smokers don't realize they

Smokers don't realize they are hurting peoples health. Smokers, are nonsmokers hurting yours? All we are asking is that you keep it in your air space and not share it. Nonsmokers should not have to live in a bubble because of your filthy habit.

weekapaug05
0
Points
weekapaug05 04/15/08 - 10:04 am
0
0

I smoke, and I can't stand it

I smoke, and I can't stand it when people smoke in eating establishments. There's nothing worse than inhaling smoke while taking a bite of your food, gross. Bars are the places that typically are catering to social smokers. I like it when the bar has no smoking inside, but allow patrons to smoke outdoors, like in Athens, GA and in Charleston, SC. Plus when an establishment has no smoking inside you don't leave the bar smelling like stale tabacco. That's what I prefer. However, I do not think that the government should have any say in the matter and that it should be up to the establishment and what the owners think their patrons would perfer. We all know the dangers of 2nd hand smoke, but this is America where people should be free to live how they want, no adult wants a nanny looking over them telling them what to do.

mercyme
0
Points
mercyme 04/15/08 - 10:13 am
0
0

s351 It is Your world isn't

s351 It is Your world isn't it? No body else lives here.

Painter
24
Points
Painter 04/15/08 - 10:39 am
0
0

Occasionally I have to go

Occasionally I have to go into a smoker's house and do my job. That is a time of torture for me. You see, I find the smell very offensive. People who smoke cannot smell the awful aftereffects of cigarettes because the smoking deadens the sense of smell and of taste. I also think it deadens brain cells as is evident by some of the smoker response here. This past Jan I had to go into a smoker's home who was dieing and eventually died from lung cancer. I stayed for hours with his widow as I consoled her in her grief. The whole time I was there I was in agony because of the stench of old smoke. While traveling through South Carolina a couple of months ago my family and I stopped for a meal in a restaurant where we were expecting to get a good meal and be on our way. We did not expect to get the stench and second hand smoke which we got as extra UGGH!! There was even one woman with small children. She was smoking and blowing smoke into an infant's face. I think smoking should be banned period, for it serves no good purpose at all. The cost of health care would be drastically reduced and our world would smell fresher. I am a reformed smoker, praise God!

js_ee
0
Points
js_ee 04/15/08 - 10:43 am
0
0

I really look forward to the

I really look forward to the day when smoking is banned in all public place...especially public sidewalks. I'm not a smoker and neither is my 5 month old son, so why can't I walk on a public street without have to smell and taste the smoke AND risk my child developing asthma because of it. I agree that smokers have a right to smoke, but non-smokers shouldn't have to suffer to appease their habbit.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 04/15/08 - 11:38 am
0
0

Shivas, nowhere do you see

Shivas, nowhere do you see where I wish to ban smoking. I would just like it to be confined to those that are addicted. Trapping children in smoke areas is child abuse and should be treated as such. I know some people find this a matter of choice, but all child abuse is from that point of view. Smoke spots that keep the smoke in them should be available for the addicted. Warnings should be posted and simple air locks (a double door system) should be installed to keep the smoke away from those without the problem. No one under 21 should be allowed under any circumstances. There is no such thing as a non-smoking section in a building that allows smoking. Smoke spreads throughout the ventilation system. Trying to exit a building that allows smoking forces people to pass through the smoke. Smokers need their own environment to partake of their habit. This isn't banning, it's protecting the public from careless fools. Smoking is a personal habit that should be kept personal.

snowbird123
0
Points
snowbird123 04/15/08 - 11:54 am
0
0

There has never been a single

There has never been a single study showing that exposure to the low levels
of smoke found in bars and restaurants with decent modern ventilation and
filtration systems kills or harms anyone.

As to the annoyance of smoking, a compromise between smokers and non-smokers
can be reached, through setting a quality standard and the use of modern
ventilation technology.

Air ventilation can easily create a comfortable environment that removes not
just passive smoke, but also and especially the potentially serious
contaminants that are independent from smoking.

Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay, Ont.

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