Aiken County smoking ban goes into effect

By: Melissa Tune Email
By: Melissa Tune Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock, June 1, 2007

AIKEN CTY, S.C.---Smokers in the cities of North Augusta and Aiken are free to light up as usual, but smoking is now prohibited in unincorporated areas of Aiken County.

We went to Logan's Family Restaurant in Burnetteville to see how this could affect their business. The crowd was mixed with both smokers and non-smokers, and their reaction to the ban was also mixed.

"Everybody has a right not to smoke, just like we have the right to smoke," said waitress and smoker Rhonda Keenan.

Rhonda says she respects the air space of those who don't.

"Got to understand, a lot of nonsmokers has to do with kids and all, so you have to give the kids respect and all," she said.

"I think it's a good idea," said patron Casey Sellers. He has a young daughter and says he kicked the habit, and now that he has a baby, he's glad he did.

"I smoked when I was young, and I hit teen and I ain't been smoking for seven years," he said. "I don't like to be around it when I'm eating."

"They say, 'Oh, you're stifling me with that cigarette smoke," said cook Star Buff. Star says she's neutral on the subject, but agrees fresher air is better for customers and those who frequent the restaurant with small babies and children.

"I don't like her being around (cigarette smoke)," Casey said. "I don't allow no smoking in my house, so I prefer to not have it in a restaurant."

"I think it's justified," one patron said.

"I don't intend to quit," another said. "'I'd go outside and smoke and I'd respect that."

Smoking is now prohibited in the following establishments in unincorporated areas of Aiken County: banks, restaurants, health care and adult care facilities, child day care centers, stores, and shopping malls.

Ban violators can be fined $200 or jailed for up to 30 days. Aiken County officials are planning to monitor the new ban to see how well it goes over. As for how they plan to enforce it, they are still looking into that.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Zane Location: Aiken on May 14, 2010 at 06:46 PM
    To whom it my concern; if you voted to raise taxes, gas and cigarette taxes. Just KNow when I vote- I will be voting against YOU!
  • by charlie Location: jackson on Jul 2, 2007 at 06:02 AM
    While it is true, that smoking over time will kill you........drunk driving will kill NOW. I am not a smoker, nor will I ever be, but this politically correct interference is only the start in our lives. It is truly amazing that even though justice is supposed to be blind, and cover like a "blanket", the powers to be, can present their case, pass it, and then force citizens to accept it. I know that some will look at this post with sarcasm and assume that I "have a cause", but in reality, I do not like smoking, and I have never smoked or drank anything alcoholic.......but we simply cannot afford for our freedoms to be legislated away from our very core. It was the late Russian dictator, Nikita Kruschev who said that "one day, we will take over America, without ever firing a shot"; and while Communist Russia has ceased to exist as it was once known, that very philosophy and characteristic is being readily forced upon us with deliberate efforts.
  • by Nancy Location: Augusta, Ga on Jun 15, 2007 at 09:43 PM
    I feel that this has always been allowed, when I started smoking there were no warnings about health, so I smoked, and still do, despite the repeated times to quit, but I enjoy a cigarette and coffee after my meal, and I feel like it is discrimination when I am forbidden to do so, it worked before, what is the beef now?
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