Start of Valdosta's Indoor Smoking Ban Postponed

City leaders say they need a few more weeks to iron out some problems with the law. The Valdosta City Council says their indoor smoking ban needs some clarifications before being put into law.

"There is some conflicting phrases in the smoking ordinance. One has to do with the amount of space from an entrance that you can smoke, the other has to do with adult entertainment,” says Mayor John Fretti.

Council leaders say the postponement has less to do with the dozens of upset business owners who've been calling for changes in the across the board ban, and more with fixing the law so it could stand up in court.

"That's what we're trying to do here. Make it better, make it clear, make it legally sound. We decided to bring it up because of that reason and our city attorney said lets straighten this thing out," Mayor Fretti adds.

Fixing problems with the ban may also give the council a chance to readdress the law's ban on smoking inside bars.

"The business owners have talked and if it means making our businesses non-smoking until 9 or 10 p.m., we're not happy with that, but we could live with that," says bar owner, Bob Nixon.

And the bar owners say if those restrictions are not eased, then the city could be facing major law suits. The City Council will next address the issue during its February 19 meeting, and the corrected ban will be in place starting March 1.


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