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Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 6:00am

Chatham Weighs Indoor Smoking Ban

A coastal Georgia county is taking steps toward banning smoking in bars and other indoor venues not covered under state law.

Chatham County commissioners are scheduled to give a first reading to a proposed smoking ban Friday. A final vote would come at a later meeting. The ban goes a step further than Georgia law, which prohibits indoor smoking in restaurants and other public buildings that allow children.

The proposal would apply only to unincorporated areas of Chatham County. Its largest city, Savannah, enacted a similar smoking ban that took effect in January 2011.

The Chatham County ban appears on track to pass; five of the nine commissioners have said they support it.