Burlington City Passed Amendment to Smoking Regulation

December 17th, 2012 00:00

Burlington’s City Council passed an amendment to the city’s smoking regulation, efficiently prohibiting smoking in establishments neighboring to restaurant starting December, 2012. In June this year, city authorities drafted an amendment to a city ordinance that covered the spread of cigarette smoke from building to building, however that first draft was considered too complicated to implement. A few weeks ago, city attorney Charles Bateman presented a new version of the advised amendment, which would ban smoking in strip malls.


Smoking is already banned in restaurants; the new amendment will just help to ensure that smoke from adjacent businesses won’t affect restaurants. The passed amendment will ban smoking in enclosed places to which the public is allowed when such enclosed areas are situated within a building or structure which includes various owners or occupancies, and the given enclosed areas or businesses are located near a restaurant situated within the same structure. It is well known that if you have a multi-tenant structure you are not allowed to smoke in places next door to a restaurant,” Mr. Bateman said.

At present in Burlington, there are approximately 110 restaurants that are situated near to other establishments. And also there are 150 adjacent establishments whose business owners will have to make them smoke-free or pass particular regulations for noncompliance. “We would have to inform each other about all those neighboring businesses,” stated City Manager Harold Owen. He also added that the Burlington Fire Department will communicate the affected establishments of any changes in the regulation, and it will also charge Burlington Police to enforce. “For a citation to be enacted there has to be a visual sign of someone lighting up, or at least ashtray, or cigarettes in that building,” Owen said.

Although some who made statements during the public hearing wanted the City Council to prohibit secondhand smoke, advising banning tobacco use on sidewalks or in city parks. Owen underlined that the given ordinance won’t include the area of sidewalk near affected establishments. “We do not have the right to regulate smoking on sidewalks,” stated Mr. Bateman. The fire department and city authorities will inform the businesses adjacent to establishments, and thus influenced by the amended regulation, before it becomes effective on December 1, 2012.

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