The city of Norcross' smoking ban was met with harsh criticism at Monday night's council meeting - people worried the government might have gone too far banning all tobacco use city wide, and they gave the council an earful.
The ban was supposed to go into effect Monday and it wasn't just tobacco either - dip and chew was also to be banned. But instead the council voted unanimously to rescind the entire ordinance.
"I just think, what's next?" said Norcross resident Sara Leavy during the public comment session. "What rights are you all going to take away from people here next?"
One by one, they gave the council an earful over the new city-wide smoking ban which was supposed to have gone into effect July 2.
"We have a passion about peoples' right to decide and there's an issue here that puts it in the ball park of certain cities out there that restricts buying a slurpee," J.P. Meyer said.
In February, council members passed a new ordinance banning smoking in Norcross, meaning no smoking on sidewalks downtown, at city hall and even public parks.
Some people told CBS Atlanta News that the ban was a great idea.
"Why would you want smoke around any child?" asked park goer Brett Smith. "I think it's fantastic."
But not everybody thinks the ordinance was fair to everyone.
"If you want to ban it, at least make a section for people who do like to come to the park and enjoy themselves," Bernard Johnson countered.
At Monday's city council meeting, not one person stood up in favor of the new legislation.
"It's a far over reach and it makes people worry, what will be next?" Keith Shubert asked. "Will it be what kind of food will you serve?"
In a unanimous vote, the Norcross City Council repealed the new ordinance, immediately lifting the city-wide ban on tobacco.
"The business owners felt it was too onerous," explained the Norcross Downtown Development Authority Chairman, Pat Eidt. "They had several people say they wouldn't come back."
Council member Ross Kaul told CBS Atlanta News he might consider revisiting a more focused ban on tobacco, but he said he's going to just leave it alone for now.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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