Smoking Ban in Gadsden Effective on February 1


Yesterday City Council in Gadsden, Alabama, announced that the city’s Smoke Free Air ordinance comes into action on Fabruary 1, 2015.

Intially the Council established January 1, 2015, as the day when the ordinance goes into effect. However, at the end of last year it voted to delay the effective day.

According to Councilman Thomas Worthy, the delay was needed in order to make some changes to the ordinance, however, council’s Public Safety Committee did not modify anything.

The ordinance  bans smoking in all indoor working places in the city, within 20 feet of public entrances to buildings and in restaurants, bars, businesses and other public places.

However, the ban is not applied to cigar bars which causeв resentment in anti-smoking activists who want complete smoking ban in the city. They say that in cigar bars also exists a need for protection of workers from secondhand smoke.

Councilman Ben Reed considers that the smoke-free ordinance may affect funding for the Etowah Youth Orchestras, which gets money from a bingo tax. Bingo players who use cigarettes may choose to go elsewhere to play, cutting the funding for the orchestras.

Some representatives of businesses worry that the ordinance might have an impact on production.

Council President Deverick Williams said  that there is no reason to worry because people will continue to play bingo despite the change. It may even increase number of bingo players because people may want to support charities.

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