Greenville City Council Passes Revised Smoking Ban Ordinance

By a vote of 6-1 Monday night, Greenville City Council approved revisions to its current smoking cigarettes ban.

The revisions will go into effect on August 1 and will impact a variety of sectors in the business community.

Perhaps the biggest revision made impacts businesses that have balconies, decks or porches at their establishments. Diners hoping to smoke cigarettes will no longer be able to do so, due to the revision that will prevent them from smoking cigarettes in the extended areas of the establishment, where food and beverages are allowed.

Private clubs were not exempt due to the revised ordinace.

The current exemption, which allows the clubs to allow smoking cigarettes when the public is not invited has been eliminated. Private clubs must now enforce the no smoking cigarettes policy at most functions, unless a special designation has been implemented.

City Council also took a large step in designating the meaning of cigar bars and retail tobacco stores in the revision.

Both Cigar Bars and retail tobacco stores are allowed to operate within the city, so as long as smoke cigarettes from their premises does not infiltrate into areas where smoking cigarettes is prohibited. City of Greenville authorities will enforce the ordinance on the particular establishments by determing whether or not smoke cigarettes is present by performing "smoke cigarettes tests."

Children's playground and parks are also among the places where smoking cigarettes will no longer be acceptable. Councilmembers voted to designate areas around children's playground equipment as unacceptable areas for smoking cigarettes, while certain areas of grassy areas, paths and other surfaces will be taken into consideration on a case-by-case basis.

Outdoor events will also be regulated by Greenville City.

The Greenville City Manager will no longer be able to use his discretion to to designate smoking cigarettes areas. As a result of secondary smoke cigarettes at highly populated events, the city will be able to enforce the existing regulations at outdoor events.

Mayor Knox White was the lone disenting vote.