BreathEasy Augusta is committed to sharing news and information about tobacco cessation, upcoming events and coalition updates. Check back often to see how we are helping the Augusta community to "breathe easy."
Bars ordering up smokefree nights
(From The Augusta Chronicle, January 30, 2013)
It was recently announced that, under new ownership, the famously hazy Joe’s Underground will become a nonsmoking establishment.
It follows in the footsteps of The Country Club and Somewhere in Augusta, which now have small smoking areas. At the Indian Queen, only the bar’s front porch is smoker-friendly. Following a similar tact, M.A.D. Studios, which is a liquor-free listening room rather than bar, has also remained smoke-free.
(From Metro Spirit, February 27, 2013)
Coalition again attempts to make Augusta smoke free, starting with GRU’s Summerville campus
A year ago, the BreathEasy Coalition went before the Richmond County Commission to propose a county wide smoke ordinance. Although the ordinance did not pass, members of the coalition are continuing to spread the message before bringing the ordinance before the committee again.
Some downtown bars opt for no-smoking policy
(From The Augusta Chronicle, March 22, 2013)
Plumes of thick, hazy cigarette smoke are a thing of the past at Joe’s Underground Cafe.
Joe’s Underground banned smoking inside the bar and cafe starting Jan. 7, one of at least two downtown Augusta bars to voluntarily prohibit cigarette smoking in recent months.
Smoking ordinance goes back to Augusta Commission
(From The Augusta Chronicle, May 16, 2013)
Advocates for a smoke-free environment for all workers are once again pushing for an ordinance that would ban smoking in public places in Augusta.
Local organization makes effort to ban smoking in Augusta restaurants
(From WJBF Ch. 6, May 20, 2013)
When it comes to smoking - it's a personal choice of whether or not you want to do it or be around it. But in Augusta, when it comes to being around it - you don't have one.
Conversation continues over potential smoking ban
(From Fox 54, May 31, 2013)
The push for a city wide smoking ban continues. BreathEasy Augusta has been collaborating with Mayor Deke Copenhaver and the Augusta Commission to ban smoking in all businesses.
Should Augusta ban smoking all across the city?
(From WRDW Ch. 12, May 30, 2013)
Some are already calling it a victory for anti-smoking advocates. Downtown restaurants have already started the smoke-free trend, and Mayor Deke Copenhaver would like to see all of Augusta follow suit.
Alcohol sales in Savannah not hurt by smoking ban
(From The Augusta Chronicle, June 2, 2013)
Alcohol tax revenues from Savannah, Ga., whose bars went smoke-free in 2011, increased slightly more than sales taxes overall compared with the year before the ban went into effect, according to a data analysis by The Augusta Chronicle. Though that doesn’t directly reflect what happened to bar business in Savannah, those pushing a similar ordinance for Augusta bars say the analysis shows that the smoking ban didn’t hurt.
Let's Just Take It Outside
(Editorial by The Augusta Chronicle, June 7, 2013)
It's time to end the debate and make Augusta smokefree.
No one is more free market than us, but on balance we believe this is a public health issue, not a matter of individual rights, privileges and preferences. We come down heavily on the side of nonsmoking. Our view is that a right to be free from toxic, irritating, hazardous pollutants trumps other rights.
Grassroots group promotes smoke-free workplace
(From NBC 26, June 7, 2013)
The state of Georgia already passed the Georgia Smokefree Air Act in 2005, banning smoking in state facilities and certain work areas. But Breatheasy's goal is to extend smoke-free legislation to all workplaces in Richmond County. "Clean food, properly storing the food, clean water, those are all things that are mandated by our government and we feel like clean air is just as important."
BreathEasy Augusta holds rally downtown
(From The Augusta Chronicle, June 8, 2013)
Hot dogs took the place of cigarettes as a group played host to a rally Friday evening at Joe’s Underground Cafe, a downtown bar that went smoke-free in January.
BreathEasy Augusta, which has been active for more than two years, took advantage of the First Friday patrons with empty stomachs in an effort to educate local residents on a proposal for a stricter smoking ordinance.
A Local Coalition Wants Augusta to Breathe Easier
(From WJBF's The Means Report, July 21, 2013)
Across the country restaurants and other public buildings are going smoke-free in an effort to create healthier environments for patrons and staff. Now a local coalition wants to see Augusta follow the trend. Jennifer Anderson from BreathEasy Augusta and Jack Padgett from the Richmond County Board of Health join "The Means Report" to share why even the smallest amount of cigarette smoke is too much. They also address the concerns some businesses have when it comes to possibly losing their customers.
Entertainers Push for Smokefree Clubs
(From The Augusta Chronicle, July 31, 2013)
Tony Howard and other entertainers joined for a rally Tuesday for BreathEasy Augusta, a coalition pushing for Augusta to have a tougher smoking ordinance that will include bars and clubs.
Rallying for a Smoke-free Augusta
(From Fox 54, July 31, 2013)
A night filled with music and entertainment, all to support one cause. "My vocal chords now are just about shot, due to the smoke," said Tony Howard, entertainer. He has been performing in smoky clubs for 30 years, and said it has just about ruined the gift he used to have. Now, the BreathEasy Augusta campaign wants to make sure that never happens to anyone else.
(From The Augusta Chronicle, September 4, 2013)
We’ve seen many valid arguments for and against public smoking bans, but few as impactful as local entertainer Tony Howard’s.The popular Augusta singer, who once toured with James Brown, wrote in a letter to the editor on Sunday that his voice and career have been curtailed by smoking. Not his – he doesn’t partake. It’s all been from secondhand smoke.
Five Questions: BreathEasy Augusta
(From The Augusta Chronicle, October 28, 2013)
Augusta’s smoking ordinance has been hotly contested in recent years as grassroots coalitions have fought to eliminate smoking in public places.
One is BreathEasy Augusta. Formed more than two years ago, the group has held several rallies in Augusta to raise awareness on the hazards of secondhand smoke.
Augusta Smoking Ban Needed for Workers' Health
(From WJBF, October 28, 2013)
The plan to ban smoking in Augusta bars is re-igniting. For the second time in a year, Augusta Commissioners are talking about creating a comprehensive smoking ordinance.
It would prohibit smoking and e-cigarettes in all businesses, including bars and night clubs. Supporters say it would help protect employees from second hand smoke.
Clearing the Air on Smoking Ban
(From WRDW, November 7, 2013)
Get ready to start seeing more BreathEasy Commercials. The grass roots effort is lobbying the city to impose a tobacco ban in night clubs, bars, and any other workplace that allows it.
Earlier this week, commissioners voted against the ordinance, snuffing it out for the 2nd time in recent years. City leaders say the decision had nothing to do with smoke.
Catch Your Breath, And Try Again
(From The Augusta Chronicle, November 12, 2013)
As we’ve pointed out before, if a restaurant was serving up polluted water, the government would step in immediately, as it should. Why is dishing up toxic air any more tolerable? We would argue it is less tolerable; not everyone orders a glass of water, but we all breathe.
We urge supporters of an expanded smoking ordinance to keep their chins up and work even harder in the coming months to persuade commissioners to their side.
Augusta Will Work on New Smoking Law
(From The Augusta Chronicle, May 6, 2014)
The Augusta Commission voted Tuesday to hold a work session on a potentially tougher smoking ordinance, but supporters got good news when one of the commissioners who opposed a previous effort said she would like to “broaden” the current law.
Activists Ready New Push for Tougher Smoking Ordinance (From The Augusta Chronicle, April 30, 2015)
At a meeting Thursday of Healthy Augusta, members of the BreathEasy Coalition showed off new ads promoting clean air and talked about how to lay the groundwork for approaching the Augusta Commission again.