Local group working to make more Shoals cities smoke-free

Local group working to make more Shoals cities smoke-free

SHEFFIELD, AL (WAFF) - Sheffield is the first northwest Alabama city to ban smoking in public places. The Smoke-Free Air Ordinance bans smoking in restaurants, city-owned spaces, private clubs and vehicles with minors.

Now a local group is working to get more cities to become smoke-free.

Melanie Dickens is the SmokeFree Shoals coordinator for the Alabama Department of Public Health. She says they pushed for the Sheffield City Council to pass the ordinance. Dickens says employees and patrons should not have to be exposed to inhaling deadly fumes. She says they are preparing to present smoke-free air ordinances to other city councils in the Shoals.

“We get a lot of complaints from employees concerned because one 6-hour shift in a smoking environment is equal to smoking one pack of cigarettes," said Dickens.

Dickens says some people against the Sheffield ordinance are planning a boycott against businesses that are following the smoke-free law. She says the ordinance is intended to make the air cleaner and safer for the public not hurt privately owned businesses.

Dickens says SmokeFree Shoals will be spending the next few months working with councils in the shoals to try to get smoking ordinances updated.

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