GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Commissioners in Gwinnett County met on Tuesday and passed a smoke-free air ordinance that will prohibit smoking in public spaces, with some exceptions.
The ordinance replaces the Clean Indoor Air ordinance passed in 2005, with commissioners saying that the "smoking/tobacco industry has significantly changed" and that new information has come forward about the health and safety of the product.
Gwinnett’s comprehensive smoke-free ordinance goes into effect on June 23.
Anyone found guilty of smoking in an area where it's prohibited can be fined up to $50. Businesses who do not follow this ordinance can be fined up to $100 on their first violation, $200 for a second and up to $500 for each additional violation made within a year, the ordinance reads.
The county said in their ordinance that this is "to guarantee the right of non-smokers to breathe smoke-free air" and "that the need to breathe smoke-free air shall have priority over the desire to smoke."
According to the ordinance, smoking is prohibited in any "enclosed public places within" the county, including, but not limited to:
- Aquariums, galleries, libraries, and museums
- Areas available to the general public in businesses and non-profit entities patronized by the public, including but not limited to banks, laundromats, professional offices, and retail service establishments
- Bingo facilities
- Child care and adult day-care facilities
- Convention facilities
- Educational facilities, both public and private
- Gaming facilities
- Health care facilities
- Hotels and motels
- Parking structures
- Polling places
- Public transportation vehicles, including public transportation and buses, are under the authority of Gwinnett County, and public transportation facilities, including bus, train, and airport facilities
- Restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, and other common-use areas.
- Retail stores
- Rooms, chambers, places of meeting or public assembly are under the control of the county
- Service lines
- Shopping malls
Video below | Gwinnett County Public Hearing on May 25, 2022
The county says in their ordinance that exceptions include "private residences, except when used as a licensed child-care, adult day-care, or health care facility," hookah/vapor bars or lounges, also, cigar bars and lounges.
Gwinnett County said they worked with the American Heart Association on building this ordinance.
"The American Heart Association celebrates the leadership of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners for their recent decision to create healthier environments in all public places,” said Laura Bracci, government relations director at the American Heart Association. “Gwinnett County has taken an important step in becoming a healthier place in which people can work, dine and live."