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Battle for Smoke-free Savannah Heats Up

By June Deen
American Lung Association in Georgia


Under the umbrella of Healthy Savannah, several organizations including the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids are leading the charge to enact a local smoke-free ordinance in Savannah.  The Savannah City Council has begun public discussion on the Healthy Savannah proposal to make all workplaces and places open to the public smoke-free.  Council members plan two public meetings before the introduction and first reading on August 12.



The Savannah City Council has begun public discussion on the Healthy Savannah proposal to make all workplaces and places open to the public smoke-free.  Council members plan two public meetings before the introduction and first reading on August 12.  The proposed ordinance seeks to eliminate problematic exceptions in state law, and includes:

  • All workplaces
  • Outdoor eating areas in restaurants
  • All Bars and Restaurants
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Private and semi-private rooms in health care facilities
  • International airports
  • Convention facilities
  • Private clubs
  • Retail tobacco stores
  • Distances 15 to 20 feet from the entrance to any public building


The Mayor of Savannah, Otis Johnson, also has endorsed the ordinance, saying it is an important step in protecting those who, like him, have heart conditions or other health risks aggravated by exposure to secondhand smoke.  There was lively debate at the first public meeting. Over 50 speakers voiced their views—-pro and con. No question about it, everyone has an opinion about smoking. So, stay tuned. The proposed ordinance is good for health, good for workers and good for Savannah. If you know advocates in Savannah who would lend their support, please encourage them to contact us at the American Lung Association at jdeen@lungga.org.  Visit our facebook page for updates: Support Smoke Free Savannah.




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