Havens for Columbia Smokers
"It's nice to be able to come over here and enjoy a cigarette inside," said Randy Schnarr of Hollywood Rebels, a tattoo parlor near Aardvarx, one of the stores exempt from the ban. "I come in all the time to smoke."
Schnarr often walks over to Aardvarx to take his smoke breaks inside. Employees say Schnarr's not the only one to come in for a smoke.
"I think some people come in here sometimes just because of the novelty of being able to smoke in here," said Melissa Frier of Aardvarx.
Across town, there's another tobacco shop with a smoking lounge.
The Tinderbox is one of the last places in Columbia where you can sit back, relax, enjoy the game and have a smoke.
"As far as I'm aware, I'm the only place in town that has a smoking lounge, big screen TV and has a haven of liberty left in our little bastion of progressive cities," said owner Kevin Goodwin.
Employees of both stores says the ban hasn't significantly hurt their sales, but now they're also getting to know Columbia's smokers a lot better.