City should review 2006 smoking ban

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2013

No smoking.

That phrase may take on a new meaning for the City of Troy if city leaders decide to expand and amend an existing ordinance.

Passed in 2006, the city’s smoking ordinance prohibits smoking in businesses and public places with some notable exemptions including bars and lounges and restaurants that provide separate ventilation systems and rooms for smoking areas.

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And while the ordinance has been widely accepted and supported throughout the community, city leaders say it’s time to revisit the ordinance, expanding its reach.

The recent proposal to open a water pipe smoking establishment in Troy prompted the review of the existing ordinance, which also doesn’t address the use of electronic cigarettes. Other issues – such as creating a smoke-free buffer zone within a certain number of feet of business entrances and eliminating smoking all together in bars, restaurants and lounges likely would be addressed in the expanded ordinance.

The model being considered is one promoted by the American Lung Association and adopted earlier this year by Anniston. And it makes sense in many ways.

We’ve already taken the most important step here in Troy by banning smoking in many public places in 2006. And despite some initial concerns, the move has been widely embraced and supported throughout our community. We believe many residents, including business owners, would support reviewing the ordinance and expanding it as appropriate.

We look forward to hearing what the city council members propose in two weeks.