Atlanta City Council passes smoking ban at restaurants, airport and other public places

ATLANTA — Atlanta City Council just voted to pass a ban on smoking in restaurants, bars, enclosed workplaces and smoking lounges at airports.

There has been some smoking legislation in place for years but this expands on existing laws.

It's a piece of legislation drafted by councilperson Matt Westmoreland. In Monday's meeting, dozens of people wore shirts expressing support for smoke-free Atlanta.

[CLICK HERE TO VOTE: Do you agree with Atlanta's public smoking ban?]

The ban would also re-define smoking to include vaping and e-cigarettes.


We spoke to the owner of the popular Black Bear Tavern on Peachtree Street. His customers can smoke after 3 p.m. and asked him about the possibility of having to go totally smoke-free.

"In particular, when you look at workplaces that are going to be smoke free. That is going to make a huge impact for all people," Timmy Phillip said.

The smoking ban would not apply to private vehicles or to homes, unless a private residence is used as a childcare or healthcare facility.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report in 2017 showed that Los Angeles International, Chicago O'Hare, Beijing Capital International, London Heathrow, Shanghai Pudong and Dallas/Fort Worth are among the largest airports in the world with indoor smoke-free policies.

The CDC said then that smoke-free policies protect travelers and workers from secondhand smoke, and said even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can have health consequences.