Published 9:53 am Wednesday, August 23, 2006
By By LISA TINDELL – news writer
As easy as 1-2-3 the Brewton City Council introduced, took immediate action on and passed ordinance 06-0822. The ordinance now in place is meant to regulate smoking in public facilities within the City of Brewton.
Councilman Cary Barton made a motion to introduce the ordinance and was seconded by Anne Marie Sasser. Barton immediately made a motion that the council make immediate consideration on the matter. That motion was seconded by councilman Henry Uptagraft. Again Barton made an immediate motion to place the ordinance up for a vote to approve its passing. That motion was seconded by Council William McGhee.
City Clerk John Angel called roll as each council person cast their vote. The ordinance passed unanimously and will go into effect at the beginning of the fiscal year.
The ordinance states that food and beverage establishments must choose to be identified as either a non-smoking facility or a smoking facility with a minimum age restricted to the age of majority for purchasing and smoking cigarettes in Alabama. At this time, the age is 19. No separate seating is offered for non-smoking patrons.
The ordinance is also clear in where smoking is allowed and where it is strictly prohibited.
Smoking is not allowed in educational facilities, government facilities and vehicles; hotel and motel areas that serve the public except in rooms that are rented to guests and are designated as “smoking” rooms; health care facilities; public recreational facilities, both indoor and outdoor; retail and service facilities such as banks, car dealerships, convenience stores, day care facilities, industrial buildings, laundromats, office buildings, public transportation vehicles, etc., in areas that serve the public.
Smoking will also be prohibited within 25 feet of a public doorway to a building where smoking is prohibited, except in a health care facility where the provider determines that a resident is physically unable to meet the reasonable distance requirement.
Although the ordinance was put into place by the city, there are some places where smoking is still an option.
Designated smoking areas for employees that protect other employees and the public from second-hand smoke are allowed. If an employee lounge is designated for smoking, a comparable area must be designated for non-smoking employees.
For those establishments that choose to prohibit smoking, signs clearly indicating that it is a smoke free facility must be installed. Likewise, those that allow smoking should also clearly indicate that they are a smoking facility with persons under 18 not admitted.
Penalties for violations vary. Proprietors, or business owners, who violate the newly established ordinance will face must stiffer fines than individuals.
The fine for a business owner violation is $100 plus court costs for the first violation. Second violations will carry at penalty of $500 and court costs if that violation occurs within 24 months of the first violation. For third and any subsequent violations within 24 months of the second violation, the fine will be $1000 plus court costs.
Individuals will also face fines for violations of the ordinance. The first violation will bring a $50 fine plus court costs. The second violation occurring within 24 months of the first violation will carry a $100 fine plus court costs with the third and subsequent violations carrying a $500 fine plus court costs.
In other business the City Council: