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News Summary

State to act slowly on smoking ban

Publication Date: 2005-06-30
  • Author:PATRICIA GUTHRIE
  • Publication:Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution
The "smoking police" won't be out in force Friday when Georgia's smoking ban becomes law.

Instead, Georgia will roll out a three-month education campaign before cracking down on puffing in public places.

"We need for people to know, and for establishments to fully understand, that something very significant is taking place in Georgia," said Dr. Stuart Brown, director of the state Division of Public Health. "I think we'll find just how appreciative citizens are to sit in bars and restaurants and not have smoke wafting over them."...

After the education campaign, smokers, not businesses, will be cited and possibly fined $100 to $500 for violations. It will be similar to getting a speeding ticket. Violators would be cited, then fined if found guilty in court of the misdemeanor.

The state is looking at two dozen cities and counties where smoking ordinances have been in place for enforcement guidance.