My response in the comments section(interestingly this editor responded to at least one comment in the comments section, maybe she'll respond to mine soon):
Ah Mara, what an extremely poor editorial you wrote on this issue. While I totally support banning smoking in TRULY public places(note: NOT privately-owned businesses where you have the option not to patronize them) where non-smokers and smokers must use together, say like government buildings and on public transit, it would be a very ridiculous idea for Atlanta's city council to go beyond the Georgia's state smoking ban and ban it in all adult-only restaurants and bars. I live in Illinois, and I've seen all the negative effects our ban has done to privately-owned businesses. Businesses that don't have room to construct patios are greatly screwed versus bars that do have the room to construct patios, casino business STATEWIDE is down over 20%(versus gamblers increasingly favoring casinos in other states, not to forget one IL casino laid off 30 people after the ban started), plus the Chicago Tribune had an infamous article last year about the fact that many bars ignore the state ban just to keep their doors open. In Ohio state, there is a well known website that documents all businesses that ignore their state ban(which is equally as strict as Illinois): http://www.smokechoke.com
What I think would be fair, is if businesses permitting smoking had to post clear exterior signage stating whatever their indoor policy was on smoking, and businesses had to disclose to employees on job applications and in interviews what their smoking policy was. That way, anyone sensitive to smoke would know what places not to patronize and/or apply for, and those who don't mind smoking(smokers, and anyone who isn't a militant anti-smoker) have places they can patronize as well. A total ban would unnecessarily take away the free choice of employees who freely want to work in smoking establishments(yes there are those out there who truly prefer working in such establishments, unlike what anti-smokers want you to think), and the right of those who want to gather together and patronize indoor establishments allowing smoking(not to mention entrepreneurs that run smoking establishments).
And who's to say there hasn't been at least some Atlanta bars and adult-only restaurants that choose freely on their own accord to ban smoking, after the state ban took effect years ago? I've seen similar effects in another city under a very similar smoking ban I visit more frequently than Atlanta(Indianapolis, which also like the state of Georgia, requires businesses permitting smoking to limit entry and employment to those 18 and older at all times), and MANY adult-only businesses there have chosen on their own accord to ban smoking, since this fair-minded ban took effect several years ago. It's probably good riddance that last fall, their city-county council(Indianapolis and Marion County merged their governments together long ago) voted against a proposal to ban smoking in all bars and adult-only restaurants. Stay free Atlanta, and don't go down the path of a total smoking ban.