MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - If you want to light up in the City of Mobile, you'll have to be a little more careful about where you do it.
Effective Monday, Oct. 1, smoking in public places and in restaurants became a violation of municipal law.
Every day, for nearly a year, a woman named Susie smoked her mid-day cigarette on a sidewalk in downtown Mobile. Monday was a little different.
"I actually walked out of the building, lit up but then I put it out," said Susie.
Some people agree with the ban. They think it benefits the city as a whole.
"There's a lot if people that get offended that smoking is around eating establishments so I'm not opposed to it. I think it's good for the city," said restaurant manager Rob Dearing.
The smoking ban passed by the Mobile City Council took effect on Tuesday but not everyone downtown knew or seemed to care. Looking around, it didn't look like it, but Mobile has a smoking ordinance.
Some people. like Hammad Rafiq, hadn't even heard about the ban. He walked down Dauphin Street in Mobile with a cigarette in hand.
"I had no idea... but it is a good idea," said Hammad Rafiq. "I support that ban, it is just another reason to stop."
Not everyone was happy about the crackdown on smoking.
"I mean we are outside in open air. So it shouldn't really bother anybody," said one smoker.
Gerard Edwards is a dissenter. He smoked during our interview in Cathedral Square, a public park where smoking is no longer allowed.
"It is my right. They can't tell me where I can smoke," said Edwards. "When are they going to do something about all the people drinking alcohol on the street? It makes me sick to smell that."
Forty-five days ago, Mobile City Council members passed a smoking ordinance which bans smoking wherever city money is used to maintain the property including sidewalks and city parks.
It also snuffs out smoking in restaurants, even outside. After 8 p.m., smoking is permitted in outside dining areas but they must be a certain distance from the door.
The question on the minds of some is who will be responsible for enforcing the ordinance.
Mobile City council member John Williams said it is up to the police and business owners.
As of this morning, Mobile Police said that hadn't even gotten a copy of the ordinance.
Smoking is not allowed in outside dining areas before 8:00 p. m. After 8:00 smokers will have to maintain a certain distance from restaurant doors.
Business owners said they don't have time to police the sidewalks outside their business, the ordinance said the businesses are responsible for telling smokers to put out the smokes.
The owner of Serda's Coffee, John Serda, said the ban may create some awkward conversations with his customers.
"How is one going to be able to enforce that? Are you going to come outside and tell me not to smoke? And I'm going to say, ‘Yeah. I got to you know, if they don't then I'm supposed to call the police on you,'" he said.
The ordinance hasn't been without controversy from those business owners either.
Restaurant owners said the smoking ban hurts their business during happy hour when bars are still allowed to have smoking.
There is an amendment to the smoking ordinance on the agenda for Tuesday's city council meeting to address that concern.
Even though the ordnance began Monday, people could be seen smoking in banned areas.
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