Smoke-­free Ordinance passed by the Chatham County Commission

For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Haywood Hughes (912) 661-­‐1792


(Savannah, GA) Chatham County, Georgia will be a healthier place to work, live and play thanks to a Smoke-­free Ordinance passed by the Chatham County Commission today.

Approved by an overwhelming 7‐1 vote, the Chatham Smoke-­free Air Ordinance is the most comprehensive smoke-­free law in the state of Georgia. The Ordinance closes all of the loopholes in the Georgia Clean Air Act of 2005 and makes all workplaces in unincorporated Chatham County smoke­‐free.

Effective March 25, 2012, the Ordinance applies to any business that allows the public inside or has at least one non-­family member employee. All bars, restaurants, outdoor serving areas and private clubs will now be smoke­‐free. Electronic smoking devices known as “e‐cigs” are also prohibited in all businesses and public places.

The Chatham Ordinance is even stronger than the Smoke-­free Air Ordinance that was implemented by the City of Savannah in 2011. The County Ordinance tightens up ambiguities in the City Ordinance by prohibiting Hookah bars and lounges.

A recent study coordinated by the Coastal Health District documented a 94% improvement in air quality in Savannah bars as a direct result of the Savannah Smoke Air Ordinance.

“This is a tremendous victory for the waiters, waitresses, bartenders, musicians, security guards and patrons of Chatham County bars,” said Amy Haywood Hughes, chairperson of Breatheasy Savannah-­Chatham.

“No one should have to breathe harmful secondhand smoke as a condition of employment,” said Hughes who coordinated the volunteer advocacy efforts.

Passage of the Ordinance was a public health initiative championed by Healthy Savannah. The mission of Healthy Savannah is to support healthy lifestyles by advocating for and implementing programs and policies that make the healthy choice the easy choice.


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