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County officials to discuss smoking ban
Glynn County Commission Chairwoman Mary Hunt is hoping to start clearing the air over most county property by asking the commission to consider a ban on tobacco use at all property except beaches and the St. Simons Island pier.

The commission is expected to discuss at a non-voting work session today the final phase of the county's Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative.

The commission this past January adopted the first phase, which prohibits smoking at four county buildings -- the Harold Pate Building, Glynn County Courthouse, Historic Glynn County Courthouse and the sheriff's office and detention center.

The commission is expected to vote on the second and final phase at its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the historic courthouse, 701 G St., Brunswick.

"One of the reasons we're talking about it (today) is some of the commissioners have concerns about police officers or firefighters not being able to smoke," Hunt said. "I just want us to discuss it. It is my opinion that if this is passed for one employee, it should go for all the employees."

The second phase of implementation would include the police, fire and public works departments, and all parks and recreation facilities, except the beach and pier. Those two places would be exempted because of the difficulty in enforcing a ban there, Hunt said.

The goal of the wide-reaching ban would be to protect non-smokers from the harmful effects of secondhand tobacco smoke.

"For me, it really comes down to a personal issue, because my kids take advantage of the recreation departments," Hunt said. "Even though the rec department does have a smoking section, it's on the sidewalks, which my children have to walk through. It's our responsibility to protect those who can't protect themselves."

In addition to the tobacco ban, the commission today will hear updates on beach safety and customer service initiatives, and an update on College of Coastal Georgia from President Gregory Aloia. The work session will be at 3 p.m. today at the Pate Building, 1725 Reynolds St., Brunswick.

* Reporter Kelly Quimby writes about government and other local topics. Contact her at kquimby@thebrunswicknews.com, or at 265-8320, ext. 321.



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