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News Summary

Smoking bans taken in stride in other states

Publication Date: 2005-03-15
  • Author:ANDY MILLER
  • Publication:Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution
Restaurants mostly content with restrictions like those proposed in Georgia Legislature.

Georgia's Senate has approved a smoking ban, and a House committee is scheduled to consider the bill today. Sen. Don Thomas, a Dalton Republican who's a physician, says he patterned Senate Bill 90 after Florida's ban, among others.

Chamber of Commerce and tourism officials along this Northwest Florida coast -- where hordes of Georgians vacation -- say the law hasn't kept people away. "I don't think we've received any complaints from businesses about it," says Jayna Leach of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau...

There have been reports of a few taverns and bars closing since the law started. A University of Florida study last year, though, found sales rose at restaurants, lunchrooms and catering businesses since the ban started, while revenues at bars, nightclubs and taverns were basically the same.

The Florida Restaurant Association, which opposed the ban, says some businesses have seen sales improve.