Lighting up after a meal will no longer be a pleasure smokers can enjoy in many establishments around town.
Effective July 1st, Georgia smokers will be able to smoke in only a handful of places. These include bars and restaurants which do not admit persons under 18.
Violators of the Georgia Smoke Free Act will be fined between $100 and $500 if caught.
"This will affect business at first, but I think things will turn around," Dixie Clifton, a waitress supervisor at Huddle House said.
"Just because you smoke, you shouldn't be discriminated against," she said when asked if the new law is fair.
"If they think this will help people stop smoking, they are wrong. If they didn't stop when the prices went up, they're not going to stop now," she said.
Others agreed with Clifton's opinion, and felt the government shouldn't control the decision to smoke.
"It's not going to stop here. Little by little, the government will try to take more control," Tammy Carlisle said.
"I don't understand why they are so hard on smokers when you have people driving intoxicated all the time," she said "I'd rather see someone smoking behind the wheel than drinking behind it."
Thomaston resident Claude Murphy said the situation is getting so bad that he wants to open a smoker's only breakfast restaurant.
"This isn't trying to help people stop smoking," Murphy said. "This is taking our rights away.
"I know that you shouldn't smoke around children, but that is why there is a non-smoking section," he said.
"I'm used to being around smoke, so it doesn't bother me," said Lori Flournoy, a waitress at Waffle House.
"I know this is going to be hard on a lot of people who smoke," Flournoy, who quit smoking 11 years ago, said.
"It's like medication. There will be withdrawal for people who smoke heavily," she said.
"Personally, I don't think the government should get involved with private businesses," owner of Q's Grill and Sports Bar Steve Moore said.
"Government should make this decision for the businesses they run, such as the social security office or courthouse. Otherwise, they shouldn't interfere," Moore said.
"Being a non-smoker, I do enjoy clean air, but people have the choice not to be around it," he said.
Some local residents have a different view.
"It is my choice to go to a place or not. That is true," Tyane Presley said, "But, it's a smoker's choice to put other lives in danger by smoking around them.
"It is just annoying to walk into a place where smoke is everywhere. When you have children, you have to think about their health over other's pleasures," Presley said.
"I think if you want to smoke, you can do so outside," Dr. Al Simmons said.
"You have to give up some of your rights to better live together. That's true in marriage, and especially true in a community," Simmons said.
"Thomaston, unlike some cities around the state, did not have a smoking ordinance, except in places like the hospital and city hall," Mayor Hays Arnold said, "But this is a statewide law that will affect everyone to some degree, and we will abide by it."
"This is meant to try to protect people, not hurt them," said Arnold.
The American Cancer Society is predicting 14,810 Georgians will die from cancer this year. Of those, 4,550 will die from lung and bronchial cancer.
According to Betsy Howerton of the Georgia Legislation Office, a police officer or deputy will enforce the misdemeanor violation, and the county board of health will monitor this just like any other health issue they enforce.
Details of enforcing the issue and what court will handle the fines are still being discussed and will be finalized before the law takes effect.