Smoking Ban Starts Today

Starting Monday, smokers in Alabama must refrain from firing up in hospitals, schools, most retail businesses, elevators, buses and taxicabs unless in designated smoking areas. Bars, restaurants and most workplaces, however, remain fair game, depending upon the owner's discretion.

Alabama now stands as the 49th state in the nation to implement a law curbing tobacco use in public places. That's according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wyoming remains silent on the matter.

Legislators have increasingly regulated smoking as studies have shown mounting evidence that inhaling tobacco smoke causes lung cancer and heart disease in healthy nonsmokers.