Mobile City Council members are rejecting a ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.
The proposal received only four of the five votes it needed to pass on Tuesday.
The Mobile County Health Department has been trying to persuade cities to ban smoking in public places. The agency is promoting such ordinances with the help of a $2.25 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The ban failed after more than two hours of discussion. The session included a debate on whether greasy fried chicken or second-hand smoke contributes more to heart disease.
The president of the county public health board says it will continue campaigning against the effects of second-hand smoke.