Marietta looks to expand public smoking ban

Marietta looks to expand public smoking ban
A bill to tighten tobacco and vaping regulations in Florida is making its way though the Senate. (WFTV.com News Staff)

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Smoking or vaping in one Cobb County city could soon be illegal, even on the sidewalk. But the proposal is getting mixed reactions.

Marietta already bans smoking, and now vaping, in public places like parks.

Glover Park sits at the heart of Marietta Square. But while it is currently a no-smoking zone, take a few steps out onto the public sidewalk and it’s perfectly fine to light up. And you can smoke or vape on the sidewalks across the street, or presumably if you sit down to eat at one of the many restaurants with tables outside.

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But all of that could change if the city passes two proposed changes to city ordinances.

Channel 2’s Steve Gehlbach went to Glover Park where he saw at least three people smoking in and around the Marietta Square.

He talked to people who had varying opinions on banning cigarettes, cigars and vaping devices from the sidewalks, alleys, and even outdoor seating.

"Restaurants, but in the park, around the park like that… I don't think would be that bad,” a resident said.

"I think it's a good thing,” said one person who smoked. “I do think about it, but not that big of a deal to me."

Gehlbach found one man who switched from smoking a pack-a-day to vaping. He understands new concerns after recent health scares with e-cigarettes, and sees why the city of Marietta wants to expand the ban all around the square in the public right-of-way.

"So it makes sense, but really doubt it’s going to stop people from vaping on the sidewalks, as I was just not long ago,” Nathan Rose said.

It's still unclear just how far out the ban would extend, or how far down some of the side streets from the square.

But the idea has already passed out of one committee and will be taken up by the full city council at a work session on Feb. 10.