Valdosta Smoking Ban Vote


It was standing room only for the Thursday night Valdosta City Council meeting, mostly to voice opinions on the city's proposed indoor smoking ban.

This was the one and only meeting where citizens could speak out on this hot topic.

"I want to see people have a right to do whatever they choose to do, I think business owners who have put a lot of work into their business have a right to say what goes into their business, as long as its not discriminatory."

Many smokers say they feel as if their rights were being taken away if the measure was passed.

Smoking ban supporters felt otherwise.

"Our concern though, is about second hand smoke, which does effect all of us as a community. And the fact there is no way to create an air that is totally smoke free,” says ban supporter Shirley Warren.

After a lengthy discussion between council members, a vote was taken, and an indoor smoking ban was unanimously approved.

Indoor smoking will not be allowed in any public building. The ban even covers bars and other so called "adult establishments."

Sponsors of the ban say they are thrilled.

"It means the community is going to be healthy, that we won't have to breathe second hand smoke. Its just a win win situation,” explains Sonny Vickers, a sponsor of the ban.

And now that Valdosta has adopted the ban, health advocates say they hope other South Georgia communities will follow.

Valdosta's indoor smoking ban will take effect in mid-February.