Alex Wan’s smoking ban puffs closer to reality

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Hippie Kool-Aid drinker and chief gay on the Atlanta City Council Alex Wan and his effort to snuff out smoking in Atlanta parks is moving with such speed through city government you might just need a cigarette to calm your nerves as it zooms by.

If only the city moved this quickly to settle lawsuits over a gay bar raid and HIV discrimination.

The smoking ban, which went public just a week ago, passed the Council’s Development & Human Resources Committee on Tuesday. The 4-1 vote in favor wasn’t much of a surprise, since Wan and Joyce Sheperd—co-sponsors of the measure – sit on the committee. It could go before the full City Council as early as Monday.

The measure has kicked up some smoke from irate Libertarians who want city government to butt out; people concerned about a ban on smoking at large LGBT events held inside city parks, including Atlanta Pride, Joining Hearts and AIDS Walk Atlanta; and party gays who are more interested in a ban on smoking in bars before eliminating smokes in parks.

The issue ignited a firestorm of reaction on our Facebook page.

Ban it in the Bars! let them smoke outside! this is the only city that we have ever lived in that allows smoking in bars!

The ban has its supporters, too.

YES!! Thank you for helping to bring the ATL into the 21st century! And for helping the rest of us to breathe better!

For his part, Wan tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that limits on smoking are perfectly reasonable.

“With these increased amenities, we are seeing more kids in our parks,” Wan said. “I don’t think limiting smoking in parks is unreasonable.”

Besides, the gays smoke too much anyway.


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