Lexington Co. restaurant smoking ban goes into effect - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Lexington Co. restaurant smoking ban goes into effect

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By Jordan Sandler - bio | email

LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - You will probably no longer see smoking in many Lexington County restaurants.

Parts of Lexington County went smoke-free Friday, and we found out how employees and customers are feeling about the new ban.

Clearing tables was a little more pleasant Friday morning for Shoney's Manager Anna Glover. For the first time, there was no smoke inside her Springdale restaurant.

"Breathe a little bit better, especially if you're sick like I am today, so I enjoy it a lot," said Glover.

Because of town and county council votes a few months ago, starting January 1 smoking is prohibited in all indoor work places in Springdale, Pine Ridge and the unincorporated areas of Lexington County.

"It burns my nose, oh yeah," said Glover.

Glover doesn't smoke, but until Friday there was no way to avoid it on the job.

"You can't breathe, and then it's cloudy when they smoke and it's a lot of it going on, it can be a touch aggravating," she continued.

Before the ban, Shoney's would separate smoking customers into a back room. But even with glass doors, management says sometimes the smoke would waft into the rest of the restaurant and bother other customers.

"It means you have to clean that area a lot, each and every day," said Glover.

"I think it's getting ridiculous," said Shoney's customer Sarge Melton, who doesn't share Glover's enthusiasm about the new ban.

"Pretty soon you're not gonna be able to walk down the street and smoke a cigarette," he said. "I just think they're trying to do away with it, period."

"I feel if you pay taxes, you should be able to smoke wherever," said Becky Kelly.

Kelly said the smoking ban will strip some simple pleasures from her job.

"I work at Walmart and we no longer can smoke in the smoking room and all my friends hang out in the smoking room," Becky said. "You're gonna have to go outside, like way away from the store."

In the long run, Glover believes the ban won't hurt business

Customers who walked into Shoney's Friday morning expecting to smoke, were content to chow down on hash browns instead.

"They wanted to enjoy the breakfast so they said it didn't matter," Glover said.

If you violate the smoking ban, you can be fined $25. To be fined, someone would have to file a complaint.
The Town of Springdale says they'll revoke a business' licence after a fourth offense.

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