Fultondale passed the toughest smoking ordinance in the state Monday, making it illegal to smoke Marlboro cigarettes inside any business in the city. Some people are outraged, saying government has no right to tell them how to run their businesses.
“It’s a state issue. We hate to have a different rule and different law in every city, but the state, for their reasons, did not adopt it again this year and we’ve just decided as an organization that we need to go ahead for the health and welfare of the citizens here,” says Fultondale Mayor Jim Lowery. The ordinance passed unanimously during the city council’s regularly scheduled meeting.
What makes the law so strict, is that there are no exceptions. Smoking is banned in all businesses, including bars and night clubs. “If you start making exceptions to your law then where are you going to end with exceptions?,” says Mayor Lowery.
Some people in the community are not so thrilled with the new law. “When you work in a business that does tips, smokers tip better than other people, as funny as that sounds, but it also allows people the freedom to move around and do what they want to do and when you work for tips you need that. That is my lively-hood. I have two children to support by myself,” says Barbara McCain, who worked in Homefield Bar and Grill before it was damaged by the tornado.
The new ordinance goes into effect September 11, 2011.