Rome, Ga. Bans Smoking in Downtown Core

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A ban on smoking and vaping is coming to the downtown core of Rome, Ga. after the city commission approved an ordinance on Monday by a 7-2 vote in an effort to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke.

The ban applies to outdoor, publicly-owned properties along Broad Street, including sidewalks and parking garages, and then extends for a block each way off that main drive. It also includes outdoor seating areas at cafes and restaurants, and places a ban on smoking within 25 feet of from a public entrance to a place of employment, as well as within all enclosed areas of employment themselves.

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The final version of the ordinance requires proprietors of businesses with outdoor patios to inform their patrons that smoking is not allowed, and provides an exemption to the indoor portion of the existing ban for businesses such as tobacco shops that provide clear messaging that smoking is allowed. Additional exemptions are in place for a limited amount of hotel or motel rooms, long-term care facilities, private clubs, non-retail tobacco businesses and bars and restaurants where no one under 18 is allowed to enter or work.

The ordinance carries a fine of up to $100 for a first violation by a business owner or manager who fails to enforce the ban, which escalates to $250 for a second violation and $500 for a third violation within a year. An individual who smokes in the prohibited areas would be hit with a fine of up to $50 for a first offense, escalating to $250 for repeat offenses.

The ban goes into effect on April 1.

Rome is home to approximately 36,500 residents and is located 70 miles northwest of Atlanta.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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