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Smokers mixed on Raleigh's proposed bus-stop smoking ban

Posted July 24, 2012

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— Capital City bus riders are mixed about the Raleigh City Council's recent decision to back a policy that bans smoking at major Capital Area Transit bus stops.

Council members voted unanimously last Tuesday on the measure, which would prohibit smoking within 25 feet of boarding platforms at downtown Raleigh's Moore Square Station as well as other bus stops where two or more buses stop.

Some transit riders, like Laura Vega and Jason Knutsen, welcome the ban.

"Secondhand smoke is worse," Knutsen said. "(Smokers) shouldn't just be able to do what they want because they have a bad habit for themselves."

"I think it is inappropriate, because the rest of us can't control what's around us," Vega said.

That's the reason for the ban, according to David Eatman, transit administrator for the city.

He says that the policy is a response to public complaints about smoking at bus stops and is an effort to provide a comfortable environment for all members of the public.

Smoking Smokers mixed on Raleigh's proposed bus-stop smoking ban

"When a bus pulls up to a stop, such as at a transit station, patrons really don't have a choice where to stand," Eatman said. "They have to queue up at that location in order to board the bus. So, in those circumstances, they don't have a choice to get away from (smoke). That's what we're really concerned about in a location where someone may be confined to that secondhand smoke."

No-smoking signs will be posted at all affected bus stops, including those at Triangle Town Center and Crabtree Valley Mall, and Eatman says other accommodations will be made for smokers.

The city's attorney is developing an ordinance that will then go before the council for a vote later this year.

"We do not know, at this time, what the actual penalty will be and how that final ordinance will be written," Eatman said.

But some smokers say they feel a ban is unnecessary and unfair.

"We're out in the open," said Travis Lorfils. "I could see if it was inside, but it's a public space."

Other smokers say they don't have a problem with it.

"It's a way that you can smoke and be polite with it, and not be rude about it," Cassandra Silver said. "I don't have a problem with it."

66 Comments

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  • piene2 Jul 25, 2012

    "Nothing I love more than lighting up when whiners fake cough or turn their noses up. Ahhhhh justice.
    ncouterbanks69"

    Would you mind if at your autopsy we took some pictures of your heart and lungs to use in the new tobacco warning labels?

  • Lamborghini Mercy Jul 25, 2012

    I'm glad they proposed this ban because people like me who don't smoke typically have a strong dislike for smell of smoke, in addition to fact its harmful to inhale. If you want to inhale toxic chemicals and enjoy the nasty odor of smoke then it should be done in your car or home, not in public.

  • Mon Account Jul 25, 2012

    If you see someone toss a butt out their car window just note the license plate (NC), time of day, and road (sometimes I take a license plate pic at a stoplight, or write the license # on my hand and remember the rest).

    When you get to a computer you can visit this site. It sends them a letter that they were spotted littering and tells them the law and fines they could face if caught by an officer.

    http://www.ncdot.gov/doh/operations/dp_chief_eng/roadside/beautification/litterbug/salform.html

    Yes- I've been told that some people probably shred them and toss them on the highway, and that the materials + labor + fuel to distribute the letters probably exceeds the impact of the actual cigarette butt filter. Even when I put a cup in my boyfriend's car to use as an ashtray he tosses the remains out the window.

    But if a few people actually stop littering (and setting horse trailers on fire) it's worth it.

  • jaydosse Jul 25, 2012

    There are many things in our society that smell and are visually less appealing than tobacco smoke and biodegradable tobacco remnants....Wake up! This is a real world!

  • Fun Jul 25, 2012

    Carteret County just lowered property taxes- you can smoke and no convention center to pay that the citizens of voted against. And probably no security or wanding for weapons at TJ Friday either----A breeze to boot !

  • Hammerhead Jul 25, 2012

    "NY is trying to ban oversized softdrinks right now."

    You are confusing a potential, stupid and unlikely local ordinance in NYC with real freedom. Do you really care what the nutjob mayor in NYC is doing? To use your logic about smoking, don't go to NYC!

  • me2you Jul 25, 2012

    Why do smokers think their disgusting addiction affects NO ONE but themselves? Stop littering the air and ground.

  • me2you Jul 25, 2012

    Very glad to see this. Anytime smoking is banded is an awesome advance towards sending a message to inconsiderate smokers. They think they can go anywhere and annoy people with their stinch, then throw their bu tts anywhere they want for you to have to see and smell.

  • Comfortably Numb Jul 25, 2012

    NY is trying to ban oversized softdrinks right now. What's next? You can't go back for seconds at an all you can eat buffet? A woman was being charged more for a flight because of her weight. The list goes on hammerdead.

  • Hammerhead Jul 25, 2012

    "Private property rights are gone. If Raleigh decides your home or business is not producing enough tax revenue, they can condemn it and hand your property over to another private person."

    I despise property taxes.

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