Smoking could cost you in Bessemer City

- Smoking in certain areas in Bessemer City could cost you as of September 1.

"I think it is a good thing sir," Cody Derreberry said.  "I have two children at home and I don't want them being around smoke in a public place."

The ban handed down by city leaders in a meeting this week listed places the ban would effect; like parks, city buildings and vehicles, recreational areas and public places. Public places were defined as a place the public is invited to or permitted at. If caught smoking in these areas, a person could be fined up to $50.

For some residents, that is not acceptable.

"I mean it is getting where we can't smoke anywhere, anytime and I feel like our rights are being taken away," Joey Cochcroft said, a resident of Bessemer City.

When the ban takes effect in a few weeks in Bessemer City, nine of Gaston County's 13 municipalities will have restrictions on smoking and the use of tobacco products. Steve Eaton, Division Director of Public Health told FOX 46 Charlotte, this is all about the health of those who live in the community.

"I think Bessemer City is really interested in the health of their citizens and they looked at this as an opportunity to put forth a policy that is comprehensive," Eaton said. 

Eaton also said, "It is also a way to educate the community and let them know the importance of avoiding second hand smoke."

City officials want everyone to know that the ban is pretty comprehensive, but the ban will not be in effect for sidewalks or areas such as outdoor patios and seating at local restaurants.

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