Businesses give their take on Charleston County smoking ban

Smoking ban passes in Charleston County

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - There are few places in West Ashley where customers like Jim Kenny can light up.

"There's enough bars out there that don't have smoking, so you might as well have a couple that do," Kenny said.

Within 30 days by law the owners of Wolf Track Inn off Highway 61 will have to implement a new no smoking policy, post no smoking signs, and tell customers who want to smoke to go outside. Wolf Track says they'll spend the time before the smoking ban goes into effect revamping the outdoor patio, to make it more appealing to their smoking customers.

Charleston County Council members say it is in the best interest of the government to protect non-smokers from exposure to secondhand smoke, and the ordinance is meant to improve people's health and comfort.

Some smokers say they support the new law and look forward to the ban. "You can definitely tell the difference between a smoking establishment versus a non-smoking establishment. It's cleaner, it smells better," Mike Petersen said. Petersen hopes the new law will help him. "Quit smoking hopefully. Let's cross our fingers."

One bartender says when the ban goes into effect she thinks customers may not come out to the bar, but she hopes that eventually they will get used to the change.

"Everybody will deal with it. Got to do what you got to do," Kenny said.

Charleston County Sheriff's Office is in charge of enforcement when the smoking ban goes into effect. People caught smoking inside restaurants or bars could be fined anywhere from $10 and $25. Businesses who repeatedly violate the ordinance could have their business license taken away.

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