February 22, 2007
A new smoking ban in parts of Aiken County may grow to include the entire county.
Some city leaders in North Augusta and the city of Aiken are pushing for the change.
Al's Family Restaurant in North Augusta isn't just known for their food. It's where dozens of folks like Ken Kenutson are known to light up over lunch.
"I can come in and relax when I'm working and stuff, sit down and smoke, because I'm a construction worker," Ken said.
The Aiken County Council passed a smoking ban Tuesday which outlaws smoking in public places. The ban goes into effect in June.
The owner of Al's, Butch Bone didn't have to worry about the changes, since the ban doesn't apply to unincorporated North Augusta and the city of Aiken. But now some leaders in both cities say they may be following suit.
"I don't feel like they should put a regulation or a restriction on who I can let come in and who I can't as far as smoking goes," Butch said.
North Augusta councilwoman Carolyn Baggot says the ban what the majority of the people in North Augusta want.
Ken isn't so sure.
"Show me numbers where the people want to versus the people who don't want it," he said.
A smoking ban in the city of Aiken and North Augusta is in the early stages. Right now it's only being discussed. Even just that sounds good to some.
"Yes, I am (in favor of the ban)," said Steve Eubanks of North Augusta. "I'd like to see a ban nationwide. I think it should be a banned product."
The Aiken City Council will discuss a smoking ban at their meeting on Monday.
The North Augusta City Council will take it up during a work session on March 5.