State regulators have proposed new regulations for outdoor smoking at bars and restaurants.
The regulations stemmed from hearings held more than two years ago debating how the ban on indoor smoking would play into outdoor areas attached to pubs and beer gardens.
The proposed changes will allow patrons to smoke in outdoor areas as long as they are at least 15 feet away from entryways, windows or vents. Patrons who choose to smoke will also have to walk to the bar if they want a drink, as the spaces where smoking would be allowed would be an area that employees would not have to walk through.
Lawmakers are hitting a wall of opposition already, as business owners complain they spent money to build outdoor smoking areas already and do not wish to make more changes so soon.
Some bar managers are fine with the rules, mostly those with large enough beer gardens that the rules would not affect them.
The proposed rules will be reviewed in the state’s General Assembly sometime in the next two months.