Smoking Ban Takes Effect
The festivities began early at the Grand Cru Restaurant with cigars and a steak dinner.
"The idea is one last waltz, one last chance to enjoy one of the luxuries of life, a good cigar with a good meal. You'll be able to get the good meal from now on, but not the good cigar, not inside the city limits of Columbia," Grand Cru Restaurant owner George Liggett said.
Some patrons said they will spend less if they can't smoke inside.
"If you can just sit down at your table and have a cigarette repeatedly over and over and just sit there and drink, that's more for your servers, that's more for your bar, that's more for your business," Columbia resident Michael Keeton said.
Business owners aren't banishing all of the ashtrays.
"We'll hang on to the ashtrays, just so they have, once people come back from smoking outside, they have a place to put the cigarettes because right outside our door there's no trashcan or cigarette disposal place for people to put it," Tonic and Quinton's manager John Pizzitola said.
Even those non-smokers who aren't bothered by smoke are looking forward to walking out a bar and not smelling like smoke.
The smoking ban is a complaint driven ordianance meaning people bothered by smoke need to file a complaint to the Environmental Health Hotline. Business owners must prominently post "no smoking" signs, and if they see someone smoking they must ask them to stop. Smoking is still allowed on patios.
To file a complaint, call (573) 874-7339.