An enhanced smoking ban could be coming to the city of Gadsden, Ala. as early as this Tuesday, which is when the Gadsden City Council is scheduled to consider the City of Gadsden Smoke Free Air Ordinance.
The new ordinance would prohibit smoking in all enclosed places of employment, though it does preserve an exemption for cigar bars and stores. To qualify for the exemption, a cigar bar must have a functioning, commercial grade walk-in humidor on premises and have 10 percent of its gross quarterly revenue come from the sales of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption and 50 percent of its revenue come from the rental of humidors and the sale of cigars for on-site consumption, according to The Gadsden Times.
The provisions effectively protect the city’s loan cigar bar, Old Havana Cigar, from being forced to shut its doors had the exemption been removed, which was the hopes of numerous anti-tobacco groups, including the American Lung Association and the Alabama Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
A cigar store that does not sell alcohol would need to have 90% of their sales come from tobacco or tobacco products and would need to be the only occupants of a building.
The biggest changes will be felt by restaurants, who can currently designate themselves as either smoking or non-smoking. Bars and lounges would also feel the change, as they are not currently required to be smoke-free.
The distance that smoking would be prohibited from the entrances to buildings would also extend from the current seven feet to 20 feet.
Full text of the ordinance, which was revised at the council’s Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, has not been posted for public review yet.
Gadsden is home to just under 37,000 residents and is located just over 60 miles northeast of Birmingham and