A controversial smoking ban in Sheffield could change

Almost 69% of people who try a cigarette become, at least temporarily, daily smokers. (File Photo)

The mayor told WAAY31 amending the ban could take a few months.

Posted: Feb 4, 2019 4:28 PM

In October, Sheffield City Council members voted to ban smoking in public places including restaurants, which upset many business owners.

Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford and another city council member voted against the ban, but it passed 4 to 2. Sanford told WAAY31 in Monday night's city council meeting he will propose the idea of changing some parts of the smoking ban to allow restaurants the option of being smoking or non smoking, but he doesn't plan on the proposal to be voted on .

"I think it's a good thing. I'm not a fan of smoking," said Sheffield resident, Chris Howard.

Even though Howard doesn't like smoking he said restaurant owners should have the right to choose.

"Restaurant owners should have the right to choose who smokes or not," said Howard.

Alix Biggers told WAAY31 she doesn't live in Sheffield but used to work for a restaurant that allowed smoking. It then went non-smoking because of a similar ordinance like the one in Sheffield.

"A lot of business died down because of it," said Biggers. "You get people that come in and they realize it's non smoking and they leave, because now they can't sit down and enjoy their coffee or food and get a cigarette right after."

Some businesses in Sheffield have told WAAY31 in the past that the ban has hurt their business and they are losing foot traffic. Mayor Sanford said he believes city council members could vote on possibly amending the ban in the next coming months.

There would have to be a unanimous vote by council to even take up the vote of amending the ban, which is why Sanford doesn't believe it will be voted on in Monday night's city council meeting.

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