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Atlanta City Council Members Update the Public on the Proposed Smoking Ban

Council members Matt Westmoreland and Andre Dickens chat about their proposed smoking ban at ATL restaurants and the airport

The Atlanta City Council voted to forbid smoking inside restaurants and bars Shutterstock
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for over 12 years.

During Monday’s Atlanta city council meeting, members Matt Westmoreland and Andre Dickens introduced legislation to ban smoking, including e-cigarette devices, inside Atlanta restaurants and bars, city government and public buildings, and at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. If passed by the council, the no smoking ordinance could take effect as soon as September 1, 2019.

The ban doesn’t include hookah lounges and cigar bars in the city. Smoking lounges on concourses throughout Hartsfield would be repurposed into retail shops and restaurants.

In a video posted to Facebook, Westmoreland and Dickens speak on why they chose to propose the citywide smoking ban to the city council, which some say is long overdue.

“One of the things we’ve seen over the last ten or 15 years is virtually every major city in the country recognizing that secondhand smoke is a serious [public health] threat,” Westmoreland says.

Dickens adds that he “feels good” about the proposed smoke-free Atlanta measure, especially at Hartsfield — describing it as “modernizing” and “catching up with the times” and protecting the health of employees and passengers at the world’s busiest airport who may be exposed to secondhand smoke from lounges or at restaurants with designated smoking areas.

Watch Westmoreland and Dickens discuss the proposed smoking ban.

Council members Matt Westmoreland and Andre Dickens, along with several colleagues, introduced legislation yesterday to make Atlanta smoke free in many public places. Watch the video to learn more.

Posted by Atlanta City Council on Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Most of Atlanta’s restaurants and bars are already smoke-free, save a few patios and designated areas inside bars which don’t allow patrons under the age of 18 years old.

Following a survey of 11,000 people conducted by the owners, both the midtown and Little Five Points locations of The Vortex went smoke free in February. The Vortex was one of the few remaining restaurants in the city of Atlanta to allow smoking inside.