Members of the Stone Mountain city council shared their thoughts -- some of them strong -- on whether a smoking ordinance for the municipality is a good idea or not during Monday night's work session at City Hall.
"I think the government is involved in too many things that are personal decisions," said councilwoman Nan Nash.
Some in the audience also expressed their opinions on limiting smoking in public areas and near building entrances, saying it could invite lawsuits and negatively affect establishments such as restaurants.
"It would really hurt my business," said Rodney Walker, owner of which opened this year on Main Street.
While some who spoke out against an ordinance said they don't smoke, are concerned about the health effects of second-hand smoke and don't like the smell of cigarettes, they still think it would be a tricky thing to enforce and turn too many people away.
Councilwoman Susan Coletti, though tired of cigarette butts tossed on city streets, also said a smoking ordinance could be a problem in terms of enforcement.
City manager Barry Amos pointed out that, if an ordinance banned smoking within 20 feet of an entrance, smokers would "have to go across the street."
Councilman Richard Mailman reminded everyone that an ordinance could be amended to grandfather in some businesses, such as , which was mentioned a few times during the meeting as an establishment that has a large customer base of smokers and would suffer if included in the ordinance.
At councilwoman Nash's , some employees and visitors have a cigarette outside, she said.
"We're going to lose some visitors if we pass this," she said.
The council will discuss the issue again at its June work session.
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