The city of Troy passed a no-smoking ordinance in April. Since then they have not enforced the law. But that's about to change.
When troy passed a no smoking ordinance last spring, they decided to give businesses until 2007 to comply. Since that date is almost here, the city wants to remind everyone enforcement is soon to come.
"The city council really wrestled with this issue for a year. They finally made the decision that there is enough proof out there that smoke causes health hazards. They wanted to approach this to make it a healthier city in the city of Troy," says Troy Mayor, Jimmy Lunsford.
Under the law, a person cannot smoke in any place available to and used by the public. That includes restaurants, parks, and schools.
There is one public place that can be all smoking, and that's a bar. But if that bar serves food, there must at least be a wall-separated non-smoking section with its own ventilation system.
"Sections really don’t prevent smoke from drifting. The city council made that decision that they wanted to have an absolute. You can choose to just be non-smoking, and there is no problem. But if you choose to have a smoking section, then it must abide by the criteria set out in the ordinance," says Lunsford.
Officials say they are not going to tolerate anyone not obeying the law. If you are in "Trojan Territory" you may want to think twice about that first puff. The penalty for breaking the no-smoking law is a misdemeanor and if convicted will be fined no less than $25 per offense.
Enforcement will begin on January 1.