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Rome seeking input on smoke free ordinance

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Cigarettes

 FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2011 file photo a person smokes a Marlboro cigarette, a Phillip Morris product, in Hialeah, Fla.  (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

Rome City Commissioners are seeking public input on a proposed ordinance that would ban smoking in most areas of the city.

There are several ways to comment.

The Downtown Development Authority is hosting an online survey through Google Documents at https://tinyurl.com/ybbecamr. To respond to the survey in person, visit the DDA office at 305 Broad St.

Also, Mayor Jamie Doss assigned the review to the city's Public Safety Committee chaired by Commissioner Craig McDaniel. The issue is slated for discussion at a special called committee meeting set for 3:30 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 601 Broad St.

The committee will make a recommendation to the full City Commission, which is asking residents to weigh in on the issue before it takes action.

Representatives from a local healthcare coalition called Breatheasy Rome brought the proposed ordinance to the board in mid-August.

Under the current ordinance, smoking is banned in all public places and places of employment unless there is a totally enclosed smoking section with separate ventilation. There are some exceptions, such as Old Havana Cigar Bar, but signs must be posted.

Smoking is also prohibited within 25 feet of the entrance of a public building or place of employment — a restriction that effectively bans it on Broad Street.

The Breatheasy proposal would expand the ban to shopping malls, parking structures, outdoor events, all drive-through lines and the downtown district bounded by Riverside Parkway, the Oostanaula River, the South Broad Bridge and Second Street.

The public can view the current Downtown Rome Smoking Ordinance as well as the Breatheasy Rome’s proposed changes at: https://romefloyd.com/articles/city-of-rome-invites-public-to-share-input-on-smoke-free-ordinance.

Breatheasy Rome includes representatives from the healthcare community in Floyd County, specifically the Rome Floyd Cancer Initiative, the Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition, the Floyd County Health Department, Floyd Medical Center, Harbin Clinic, Redmond Regional Medical Center, Rome Radiology, and the Southeastern Pathology, with support from the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Nonsmokers Rights Foundation, and the Georgia Department of Public Health.

For questions, contact the Office of Downtown Development at 706-236-4520 or email downtown2@romega.us.