Smoking ban

The Alabama Prison Reform Task Force is currently considering a slate of recommendations from the Council of State Governments to address Alabama's poorly performing prisons.

Some of their suggestions include hiring more probation officers and creating a new, lesser felony class for low-level offenses.

The Task Force estimates that proposed changes should reduce Alabama's prison population from 200% capacity down to 162% by 2021.

A group of professors say a policy blocking health systems from hiring smokers may have a disproportionate impact on certain employees.

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Legislation to ban smoking in many Alabama businesses has died.

The bill by Democratic Sen. Vivian Davis Figures of Mobile failed in the House Health Committee 4-7 Wednesday.

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The Alabama Senate has again passed a bill to ban smoking in many work places and in many businesses. Democratic Sen. Vivian Davis Figures guided her bill through the Senate on a 21-8 vote Tuesday. Figures has passed similar legislation in the Senate before, only to have it die in the House. Figures is uncertain how it will fare in the House this time. Her bill bans smoking in most businesses, but bars and private clubs are excluded. It also does not affect smoking in homes, unless the homes provide day care services.

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The president of Alabama State University says he's looking to implement a temporary smoking ban.

University President William Harris says that he's going to use executive authority to temporarily ban the use of all tobacco products on campus.

He says science has proven "that smoking causes grave difficulties to health," and university officials want students and staff to be as healthy as possible.

Auburn University

A new policy has banned smoking on the campus of Auburn University.

Four campus groups passed resolutions to ban smoking on campus and officials say the ban will go into effect on Aug. 21.

Auburn University student Liz Howerton told the newspaper that most students she's talked to are supportive of the idea and that it "can only do good for the campus."

Lee Bradberry, who owns a nearby cigar shop, says he applauds the school's concerns for public health but has misgivings about the policy because he thinks it infringes on individual rights.

Mobile leaders reject smoking ban

Jul 10, 2012
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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.