Smoking Ban Effects - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Smoking Ban Effects

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It's been more than a month since smoking in public places like workplaces, bars, and restaurants has been banned in Birmingham. The ban also includes hotels, parking areas and outdoor seating on public property. Smokers must be at least seven feet away from any public entrance. So what's the response been so far?

City Council Member Jonathan Austin says business has improved at some of the local bars because more non-smokers are now coming in. Many bars say the smoking ban has not effected their business, however some customers are still adjusting. Some establishments are actually selling electronic cigarettes, and more patrons are using them in places where they can't smoke because the ban does not apply to electronic cigarettes. They produce a vapor. Vulcan Vape in Homewood opened around the same time the smoking ordinance took place. The electronic cigarette retailer says business has picked up for them, but they can't say at this point whether it's a direct effect from the ban.

Jake Waitzman, Co-owner of Vulcan Vape  says "People want to know where this is going and the more people are exposed to the conversation, E-cigs come up in it and those not exposed to e-cigs now say maybe it's time to check it out."

When it comes to the smoking ban, Jessie Haldiman, a bartender at Oasis says "It took a minute to adjust, but everyone can go outside in the courtyard, it's not too bad."

Vestavia Hills is now considering a smoking ban in all restaurants, bars, hotels and motels. The mayor says there will be a public hearing on the issue Monday before the council is expected to vote on a resolution.  The meeting starts at 5:00.

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