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News Summary

Smoking ban stirs questions

Publication Date: 3/22/2005
  • Author:RICK LAVENDER
  • Publication:Gainesville (GA) Times
The statewide smoking ban expected to pass the state House today may prove tougher in Gainesville and Hall County.

The Georgia Smokefree Air Act of 2005 would boot smoking in most public buildings. Key exemptions include bars and restaurants where all patrons and employees are at least 18.

But neither the county nor Gainesville, home to most restaurants in Hall, permits bars as they're defined in the measure.

Gainesville allows serving liquor only at restaurants where food comprises 50 percent or more of sales. The guide in Hall, which prohibits pouring liquor, is $3,000 a month in food or at least a 50-50 mix for less-busy eateries.

The version of Senate Bill 90 scheduled for a vote today, however, defines bars as "devoted" to serving alcohol and where serving food is "only incidental."