While we are proud to accommodate non-smokers and smokers alike, we will not put up with crybabies. The Vortex is a social gathering place for adults, and some adults still choose to smoke. So, if you just can’t tolerate being around smoke or smokers, this is probably not the place for you. Fortunately, there are many non-smoking options available in our fine city. If you decide to smoke in The Vortex, make sure you know where our designated smoking areas are, as they may change depending on the time of day. We do NOT allow the smoking of cigars, pipes, clove cigarettes or anything forbidden by our evil overlords.

In 1992, we created a secret hideout for serious drinkers. Exactly the kind of bar we would frequent, even if we didn’t own the place. And since we're all about being a bad influence, of course we chose to allow smoking on our property.

At some point in the 90's, we were visited by a city official telling us a new regulation had been passed. Because The Vortex served food, we would now be required to reserve at least 50% of our seating to be designated “non-smoking.” Our original location was a tiny corner pub. Since the physical bar was on the main floor, that became our “smoking" section. The fact that all the smoke rose up to the “non-smoking” section, in the loft above, didn't seem to matter to anyone. So, we were in compliance with the new, pointless law.

Then in July of 2005, nanny-state bureaucrats, in league with anti-smoking zealots, enacted the “Georgia Smoke-Free Air Act.” This legislation was originally drafted as an outright ban on smoking inside all buildings within the State of Georgia. Another obvious attack on private property rights and freedom of choice.
In the final hour, one principled legislator pointed out that if this legislation was all about “protecting the children” (which it wasn't), then why not allow bars, nightclubs and restaurants that did not admit or employ minors, the option to offer smoking? To the dismay of the anti-smoking lobby, an amendment was added, and the law was passed including this loop-hole to the outright ban that they were seeking. But, local municipalities would still maintain the option to draft stricter smoking regulations.

Making the choice was easy for us. Smokers and drinkers had always been our target market. So we changed our company policy, and began restricting our customers to "18-and-over." As it turned out, our patrons absolutely loved the change. And while we were congratulated for championing freedom of choice, a vast majority of our customers were just really excited about eating, drinking and socializing in an “adults-only” environment. The proof became obvious with the rise in profits we saw after making this change. 

We will continue to offer the option to smoke as long as this choice is not taken away from small business owners by evil fascists. But due to the fact that so many people love to tell other people how to live, we are certain it's only a matter of time until the City of Atlanta passes an all-out smoking ban. If this ever does occur, that's when The Vortex will become a "21-and-over" bar. We won't be able to allow smoking, but we will be able to greatly simplify our operation.

The largest-ever scientific study on second-hand smoke and lung cancer, published in 1998 by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, reported absolutely NO statistically significant increase in a lung cancer risk associated with exposure to second-hand smoke. Despite attempts by the EPA, and the anti-tobacco industry, to claim that second-hand smoke causes cancer, not a single valid scientific study has ever corroborated that claim. Studies conducted by the EPA were found to have “fudged” their analysis to reach a predetermined conclusion, using thoroughly dishonest, and patently non-scientific procedures. The myth of second-hand smoke being a health hazard is based solely on disproven “politically correct” junk science. But if you repeat a lie enough times, most people will believe it is the truth.

Part of being free, is being able to decide what kind of risks you're willing to take. To have control over your own body, life and behavior. As advocates for this kind of freedom, we are deeply concerned that more citizens do not understand the real dangers of coercive legislation. Any time you create a State apparatus capable of repression, it will inevitably fall into the hands of bullies, busy-bodies and tyrants. History has proven this time and time again.

Second-Hand Smoke is better than Second-Hand Fascism.