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BCP News Brief – Atlanta Bans Smoking in Public Parks

Last week the Atlanta City Council sat down and in an 11 to 1 vote, decided to pass a public parks smoking ban.

The outdoor smoking ban will immediately take effect after Atlanta’s Mayor, Kasim Reed, signs the legislation. If anyone is found smoking in Atlanta the punishment is up to $1,000 in fines and a possible six month jail sentence.

All public parks in Atlanta are covered by the ban, however there are a few exceptions including: Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Park Tavern, Chastain Park Amphitheatre and parts of the Oakland Cemetery that are privately owned will not be affected by the ban.

Atlanta cigar enthusiasts think that city officials are focusing on the wrong things, especially in such a rough economy. Rather than focusing on smoking bans elected officials should be concentrating on jobs in the area.

“You might as well pass a resolution urging Georgians to eat their vegetables and take a daily multi-vitamin,” Boram Lee of Buckhead Cigars told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

While  the ban is intended to prevent second hand smoke from reaching the lungs of innocent park-goers, many see it as yet another unnecessary infringement upon smokers rights. Being responsible in public really isn’t that difficult and honestly, most people are mindful of their surroundings, meaning someone smoking a cigar outside probably won’t blow smoke in your face.

Atlanta is just another city on the list of communities that no longer allow smoking in public parks and cigar enthusiasts are not happy. Other cities that have banned smoking in public parks are Alpharetta, Decatur, Doraville, Duluth, Gainesville, Marietta and Roswell. First it was restaurants, then bars, now parks, what’s next? Let us know what you think on the latest smoking ban.