Smoking ban bill heads back to the House

Published 02/12 2014 06:52PM

Updated 02/12 2014 07:59PM

The Senate has passed yet another bill banning smoking in public places statewide.


While the bill would allow smoking in bars, private clubs and retail tobacco shops, it would prohibit smoking in most public places like restaurants and retail areas.


It means Dothan's current smoking ordinance would go by the wayside.


“We have a pretty strong ordinance already, but we’ll see when it passes the House.  A lot of these bills come in one way and end up another way, but as soon as we know, if it passes, exactly what they’re looking for, we’ll of course adjust to it,” said Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz.


Under the current state law, businesses get to decide whether or not to allow smoking at their establishments.


"We gave the restaurants an opportunity to choose, and 99% of them choose no smoking, so I don't think it's going to affect us a lot.” Schmitz said.


The CDC reported as of 2012, 26 states and D.C. have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws.


Representative Kevin Dorsey made it known he is a non-smoker, but he respects whatever the state of Alabama decides.


"I'm for the people, and whatever is safe for the people, that’s what I’m going for.  I respect leadership,” said District 1 City Commissioner Kevin Dorsey.


Other city officials are also neither for nor against the ban, but they would like to see it handled differently.


"A lot of these things need to be dealt with by private industry.  The medical center here recently passed a rule where you can’t smoke on their entire campus.  And this might be one of those issues that probably needs to be a private industry matter versus a public policy,” Hamp Baxley, City Commissioner, District 6 said.


We'll soon find out if the state will impose the ban, or if more attempts are in the future.

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