“Would you go to a restaurant eat steak and people are smoking? No, exactly, so go outside,” said Lee Babbitt.
For some people, having a drink and smoking go hand-in-hand.
Augusta’s new smoking ordinance forces bars to be smoke-free. This is day three of enforcement so, is it hurting business in the Garden City?
“We’ve always been a non-smoking bar inside,” said Sarah Carr Moody. “We always ask our customers to go to the porch or the parking lot to smoke their cigarettes.”
Many bars, including the Indian Queen, are all about clearing the air. Moody says customers want to come to a place where they feel comfortable.
“Nothing has changed our customers know they have to smoke outside,” explained Moody. “The customers know they have to smoke outside because they come here for the clean environment.”
The ban also includes E-cigarettes. One smoker says he supports Augusta’s decision to be smoke-free.
“A lot of places shut it down a year or two ago, and you can’t smoke inside which I agree with,” said Babbitt. “Go outside and do it, I’m okay with that.”
NewsChannel 6 reporter Devin Johnson spoke to another smoker, who did not want to go on camera. She did tell him it will affect some bars because people go to places where they don’t feel excluded.
“It will affect some downtown bars, especially the bars that allow the smoking inside,” explained Moody. “But what we provide here is a nice clean atmosphere. You come in here, and it’s like a taste of home with the wood and the environment, and not just somewhere you would even smoke in.”
“All it does makes people either smoke inside or sit outside on their sidewalk to smoke and bother people,” said Babbitt.
Day three into the smoking ban and so far, from the people, support is strong for a smoke-free atmosphere.