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DeKalb County Board of Commissioners Vote Down Comprehensive Smoke-Free Ordinance

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted against proposed amendments to make the current no-smoking ordinance more comprehensive.  The proposed amendments presented to the commissioners by the DeKalb County Board of Health would have prohibited smoking in all public places including parks, playgrounds, entrances and exits to buildings, restaurants, bars including adult entertainment establishments, outdoor entertainment venues and outdoor service lines, such as ATM lines. 

“I am very disappointed that the commissioners did not find value in any of the amendments including those protecting our parks, playgrounds and service lines,” stated S. Elizabeth Ford, M.D., M.B.A., district health director of the DeKalb County Board of Health. “Despite this setback, we will continue to move forward to promote safe air for all who live, work and play in the county.”

 Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable illness and early death in theUnited States. Each year, approximately 443,000 Americans die prematurely as a result of smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.

 Clinical studies have shown that exposing non-smokers to 20 minutes of concentrated secondhand smoke can have the same effect as smoking one cigarette. Extending that exposure to over two years means that a non-smoking, full-time employee will inhale the equivalent of nearly 12,000 cigarettes.

 DeKalb Putting Prevention to Work is an ongoing effort of the DeKalb County Board of Health to promote a healthy lifestyle that includes eating right, staying active, seeing a doctor, and being smoke-free. For more information about the DeKalb County Board of Health’s smoke-free environment efforts, please visit