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.
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.