Atmore: Put out your cigarettes
Published 10:55 pm Tuesday, October 14, 2008
By By Adam Prestridge
Consumers can breath easier now that the air inside Atmore restaurants and businesses is “smoke free” following an ordinance approved by the Atmore City Council.
The Smokefree Air Act of 2008 was passed Monday afternoon with unanimous support during the city’s regularly scheduled council meeting, making Atmore the last city in Escambia County to adopt a smoke free ordinance.
Prior to approval, a public hearing was held to give citizens on hand the opportunity to voice their opinion of smoking ordinance.
With no other comments from the audience, the council closed the public hearing.
Councilman John Garrard made the motion to approve the no smoking ordinance, something he holds dear to his heart.
Councilman Webb Nall seconded the motion.
Areas smoking is prohibited
Areas smoking is not regulated
Smoking is prohibited within a reasonable distance outside an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited, so as to ensure that tobacco smoke does not enter the area through entrances, windows, ventilation systems or other means.
According to the ordinance, a person who smokes in an area where smoking is prohibited by the provisions of the ordinance shall be guilty of an infraction, punishable by a fine not exceeding $50.
A person who owns, manages, operates or otherwise controls a public place or place of employment who fails to comply with the provisions of the ordinance shall be guilty of an infraction and punishable by a fine not exceeding $100 for the first violation, a fine not exceeding $200 for a second violation within a year and a fine not exceeding $500 for each additional violation within one year. In addition to the fines established, violation of the ordinance by a person who owns, manages, operates or otherwise controls a public place of employment may result in the suspension or revocation of any permit or license issued to the person for the premises on which the violation occurred.
Tina Findley, Tobacco Prevention and Control Coordinator for Public Health Area 9 for the Department of Public Health, said a reasonable distance is defined as between 15 to 25 feet.
Findley, who has traveled an eight-county coverage area encouraging cities to adopt smoke free ordinance, said Tuesday afternoon that she was not aware Atmore was planning on passing an ordinance.