One month after it was supposed to begin, a new smoking ban is in effect in Gadsden, Ala today.
The ordinance was passed in June 2014, but with several new council members coming on at the end of the year, they along with the Public Safety Committee requested more time to study and familiarize themselves with the law. An agreement to delay the start was agreed to in late December.
With the ban in place, smoking in all business and other public spaces is now prohibited with a limited number of exceptions. A 20-foot smoke-free buffer zone from the entrances of the affected businesses is also now in place.
Cigar stores and bars are getting an exemption from the ban, provided that 50 percent of a store’s revenue comes from cigar related purchases and they have a walk-in humidor. Tobacco retailers without the walk-in humidor, businesses that were once exempted, are now subject to the ban.
For those who like to light up on outdoor patios of establishments, that is still allowed, though food and beverage service won’t be happening in those areas to reduce the interaction between employees and smokers.
Gadsden is home to approximately 35,000 people and is the county seat of Etowah County. It is located in the northeastern part of the state, roughly 50 miles northeast of Birmingham.