Comments on Smoking Ban in Montgomery


City Council’s Health, Education and Recreation Standing Committee in  Montgomery, Alabama state, during their meeting on Monday were discussing proposal to introduce No Smoking Ordinance, but there was no quorum.

City Councilman CC Calhoun, Mayor Todd Strange and other officials organized public hearings in order to find out more resident’s opinions on the subject.

Several years ago Montgomery city adopted an ordinance which imposed restaurants to be totally smoke-free or create a special smoking zone with a separate air filtration system. The change proposed today would prohibit all smoking in restaurants, bars and clubs. Also it bans smoking within 20 feet of playgrounds, business entrances, and bus stops.

During the meeting several bar owners expressed their disagreement with the smoking ban as they think it will affect their business. They say it would never do to force smokers go outside because smokers come to bars to relax, have a drink and a cigarette. Forcing them outside creates a kinda incommodity.

Another speaker told that the city of Montgomery has today a plenty of smoke-free restaurants while smokers have only 3-4 bars where they still may light up. Therefore there is no need to ban smoking in all establishments because smokers should have their bars where they amy relax with a favorite cigarette.

Paul Smith owns a pub for 20 years and considers that it is unfair to make smokers feel uncomfortable in bars. They should use their right to smoke.

On the other side Dr. David Franco expressed his support for a smoke-free law saying about the necessity to protect bar workers from secondhand smoke. He considers people will not stop vising bars as these are place to drink rather than to smoke. Dr. David Franco told about all people’s right to breathe a clean air, therefore clean air should be in all public places. Kids should be protected in the first place as they are most vulnerable to effects of secondhand smoke.

The campaign  Smoke-Free Montgomery was launched to inform people about  effects of secondhand smoke exposure. The group has been fighting for 100% smoke free workplaces, restaurants and bars.

The date for another public comments on the ordinance will be announced next week, at the city council meeting on December 16th.

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