Smoking Ban Vetoed

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Montgomery restaurant and bar owners shouldn't throw out those ashtrays yet.

Mayor Bobby Bright vetoed an anti-smoking ordinance Wednesday afternoon. The decision sends the controversial measure back to the Montgomery City Council, which had approved the law last week on a 6-1 vote.

Bright, who listed eight reasons for his veto, said he wants a total smoking ban. The seven-member council can either override the veto with a majority vote or revise the ordinance.

The original ordinance contained three exceptions: smoking will be allowed in restaurants from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., in private halls and in tobacco specialty shops.

The Montgomery City Council will debate the mayor's veto at it Tuesday afternoon meeting.

Meanwhile, city leaders in neighboring Prattville are expected to hold a public hearing Monday night on a proposed smoking ban for that city.