Time Running Out For Smokers

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Time is running out for smokers to light up in restaurants and bars across Tennessee.

The new statewide smoking ban for businesses goes into affect on Sunday.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford spoke with some restaurant owners and smokers to see what changes they will have to make.

"You have to anticipate changes and obviously Tennessee's going to have a change right away," said Jimmy Buckner, a partner at West Knoxville's Kingston Alley Grill and Ale House.

Starting tomorrow, smoking will be banned in most businesses, including restaurants and sports bars.

"It will affect business, of course, because you've got half people don't smoke, half people smoke," said Shane Alameldin.

Shane Alameldin, a regular smoker, is lighting up for the last time in Kingston Alley today.

"I kind of agree with it and I kind of don't," said Alameldin. "It's going to affect us that want to smoke a cigarette. We're going to have to go outside instead of sitting here enjoying our drinks."

That's why Kingston Alley is building an extended outdoor patio that is set to open Wednesday.

"It'll affect the industry at large and as you can see behind me," Buckner said. "We have an outside deck, so we've been anticipating for our customers so they can have an option."

But at Beef O'Brady's in Turkey Creek, they won't have to make any changes because they've always been smoke-free.

"I think it's great," said Mike Peacock who owns Beef O'Brady's. "I think it's going to put everybody on a level playing field."

Peacock thinks the cigarette ban is a big step for Tennessee in a healthy direction...

"When you smoke, you don't realize smoking is offensive to other people," Peacock said. "A lot of people don't smoke today and they don't want to be around it."

But many smokers like Alameldin say it's not fair and some businesses could end up hurting from the ban.

"It's going to make us not want to come out," Alameldin said. "They'll end up going to a house or apartment to enjoy their drink and smoke at the same time."

Peacock disagrees completely.

"I think as soon as people get used to the idea that you can't smoke, then you know, you still got to eat," Peacock said.

The new law does not apply to bars or restaurants that prohibit people under 21 at all times, or to businesses employing less than three workers.

If you choose to smoke inside after October 1st, you could end up paying a $500 fine.

If you would like to read the text of the new smoking ban you can visit the Website below and search for SB1325.

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  • by kim bartholomew Location: apopka fl. on Jul 8, 2007 at 09:41 PM
    I think the ban is perfect. You can't believe in Florida how many people have quit smoking, how you can now smell food being cooked when you walk into a restaurant instead of smoke. And the bars, they haven't changed, people who smoke go out on the back patio, but always come back in. NO more getting burned by a cigarette on your clothes by a careless smoker. The change is the best, and congratulations to the lawmakers for coming into the 21st century with the rest of us. The teens aren't even lighting up as much, unless you get into the inner city. The kids are focused on "green earth", and all our baby boomer ideas are finally taking hold. I am so proud of you, Tennessee!
  • by Confused Location: Maryville, TN on Jul 5, 2007 at 01:54 PM
    I am SO happy to see this go into effect. I had been very spoiled living in states like CA and FL where this type of law has long been in existence. However, I'm a little confused as to when it takes effect...? The article above implies it took effect 7/1/07, but everything I heard (and if you read SB1325), made it sound like 10/1/07? I know I have been to several restaurants post-July 1st, and they are still asking "Smoking or Non?".
  • by lisa Location: maryville ,tn. on Jul 4, 2007 at 11:39 AM
    I think if there is A nonsmoking area it should not matter because they are seperated people breathe a lot worse outside with all factory pollution in air look toward the smokey mountains see all the smog that is what you breathe 24/7 thatis not healthy at all.
  • by Elizabeth Location: Knoxville on Jul 2, 2007 at 03:44 PM
    Mike Peacock says: "When you smoke, you don't realize smoking is offensive to other people..." Come on Mike, the majority of smokers are acutely aware that smoke bothers other people and even in smoking areas they will ask if it would bother their neighbor. Such a vague, generalized statement doesn't befit the owner of a restaurant. Rude smokers are in the minority now! Why is it that non-smokers think they are somehow superior? I don't drink, does that make me superior to everyone in your bar?
  • by Charlie Location: Farragut, TN on Jul 2, 2007 at 01:54 PM
    A few years late is better than never! I'm glad I don't have to hear smoking or non-smoking, I thought I was living in the 70's and have gone back in time. No more contaminated clothing, hair, and lungs.
  • by Tina Location: Knoxville on Jul 2, 2007 at 12:32 PM
    I'm a smoker, and I agree with the smoking ban 1000%!!! I don't like to smell smoke when I eat, and I'm tied of rude smokers! By this I mean, don't blow your smoke in my face or my way, or hand me something with your cig. in your hand!!! Again, I'm happy for the ban, and we just have to go outside and it will be a little healthier for us to, not closed up with a lot of cigerettes going at one time.


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