Kennesaw proposal would ban smoking in most public places - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Kennesaw proposal would ban smoking in most public places

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Kennesaw could join a growing list of Georgia cities that have banned smoking nearly everywhere except private residences.

Last week, City Councilmember Dr. Cris Welsh introduced an ordinance that would ban smoking tobacco and e-cigarettes in public places.

"What we want to do is talk to our business owners, talk to our citizens and just begin the conversation -- see if this is something they would like to follow in the footsteps of Savannah, DeKalb County and other municipalities around us who have created a smoke-free environment for their citizens," said Welsh.

Unlike state law, Dr. Welsh's ordinance would ban smoking in bars, restaurants, public parks and all privately owned, indoor workplaces. The ban even includes e-cigarettes.

Dixie's Vapor Shop owner David Owens says no studies have proven that what comes out of an e-cigarette or vaporizer is harmful.

"It's a bi-product of the vegetable glycerin, which is basically a water vapor that you exhale, and very, very little of the nicotine is exhaled because most of it -- because it's vaporized -- is absorbed immediately into your system," said Owens.

Smokers think banning tobacco nearly everywhere except their homes is a violation of their rights as adults.

 "I believe much in tobacco, so I am very against this movement of people trying to ban smoking at public facilities," said John Fitzrobert Webb.

The proposal would severely limit the places smokers could light up.  

"The places that we would be looking at are public parks, public buildings -- anywhere that children would be," Welsh said.

According to Welsh, Kennesaw says a vote on the draft ordinance won't come anytime soon. Last week was just initial presentation of the proposed smoking ban.

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