While Savannah, GA, banned smoking inside all bars and restaurants in 2010, a smoking ban proposal mirroring the one passed in Savannah was submitted to nearby Chatham County Commission for review. The draft of the proposed Smoke-Free law was delivered to the County Commission earlier this month. Although the ordinance was passed during a vote that took place this morning, County Commissioners voted 5-4 to exclude private clubs, tobacco shops and bars serving those 21 and over from the proposed smoking ban. In addition, electronic cigarettes will also be excluded from the Smoke-Free law and their use be allowed.
After closing out 2011 with great news from Orland, California and Wheeling, Ohio, where electronic cigarettes will remain allowed despite tobacco control laws, 2012 is starting off on a high note with another victory for e-cigs in Chatham County, GA.
After receiving the proposal that mirrored the smoking ban laws of Savannah, which outlawed smoking just about anywhere, the proposed ordinance was met with some opposition, especially by Commissioner Dean Kicklighter. A smoker himself he feels we need less government not more.
“If an adult decides to take part in an activity that is legal that should be their choice. If the federal, government or state  wants to make that illegal totally so be it. Then lets burn all cigarettes in one big pile,” points out Kicklighter.
Ultimately, while the commission voted to pass the ordinance, private clubs, tobacco shops, 21 and over establishments as well as electronic cigarettes were not included in the ban after a compromise was reached between commissioners, members of the public and business owners. Once the ordinance goes into effect, smoking will be banned in public areas such as parks and sidewalks, in the workplace and in restaurants and shops and their outdoor seating areas.
With such a great start to 2012, we look forward to more victories for electronic cigarettes this year!