Columbia Smoking Ban Heats Up

1 decade 7 months 1 week ago February 15, 2006 Feb 15, 2006 Wednesday, February 15 2006 Wednesday, February 15, 2006 5:37:28 PM CST in News

The Columbia Board of Health has spent the months trying to figure out how to reduce smoking.

"We're the Board of Health, and it is our responsibility to recommend what is best and what is healthiest for the citizens of Columbia," said Jessica Quint. "And our recommendation was a ban on smoking."

Columbia's law allows smoking only in restaurants with seating for at least 50 customers, requires smoking areas separate from non-smoking areas, and requires smoking sections at least 20 feet from entrances.

The Board of Health is proposing a smoking ban in indoor restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, and athletic stadiums and arenas. Some bar owners feel patrons should decide if they want to smoke.

"That's our choice and we try to accomodate our customers," said Dick Walls, Columbia bar owner. "So far, we haven't had any problems. And, as far as I am concerned, people should have the opportunity to make that choice when they come in the front door."

The Columbia City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed smoking ban March 7.

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