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Atlanta City Council approves ban on smoking, vaping in some public places

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Say goodbye, most likely, to the hot boxes at the airport

a picture of a woman vaping
The Atlanta City Council isn’t a fan of your vape tricks.
Jonathan Keeble/Getty Images

It’s time to bid farewell to those pungent smoke boxes that rack your nostrils as you pass them at the airport.

If Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signs a piece of legislation the city council passed Monday, smoking and vaping will be illegal at Hartsfield-Jackson International, as well as many other public places around town.

The ordinance, sponsored by councilmembers Andre Dickens and Matt Westmoreland, was drafted as an effort to curb secondhand smoke inhalation and the health risks that come with it.

Under the new proposal, smoking and vaping would be barred from “all enclosed public places in the City of Atlanta,” according to the legislation.

Burning a cigarette or puffing big clouds from a Juul would also be a no-no in outdoor public spaces within 10 feet of entrances or windows of buildings where the ban is in effect.

Also, no more smoking or vaping in hotel rooms, longterm care facilities, or “private or semi-private healthcare facilities.”

Of course, there are exceptions, such as some restaurants with outdoor serving areas, tobacco and vape shops and cigar bars (obviously), and other businesses that prohibit minors from entry.

Violators of the new rule—with Bottoms’s signature, it would go into effect in January—could face fines of $100 for the first offense, and $200 per charge thereafter.