City council passes 'Tobacco Free Zone' around hospital district

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston City Council members passed the "Tobacco Free Zone" around downtown's medical district at Tuesday night's meeting.

The smoking ban, which will affect the areas around MUSC and Roper St. Francis hospitals, will go into effect on March 1.

Council also discussed an amendment that would have smoking facilities inside the hospital. Although there was a lot of debate and discussion over the issue, the amendment did not pass.

MUSC and Roper St. Francis hospitals will privately enforce the ban. The Charleston Police Department will not be involved with writing tickets.

The current boundaries of the 'Tobacco Free Zone' cover areas North of Calhoun Street and South of Cannon. The area reaches as far into the peninsula as Rutledge Avenue to encompass the entire medical district.

Violators would face fines between 10 and 25 dollars for every time they're caught lighting up or even walking through with a cigarette in their hand.

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