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Group of Wake County Health Leaders Support Smoking Ban

Posted March 21, 2007

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— A bill to prohibit smoking in most public workplaces in North Carolina, including restaurants, has the backing of a group of Wake County businesses, but opponents say it infringes on personal rights.

A group called Smoke-Free Wake is made up of about 100 Wake County business and health-care professionals. In an announcement Wednesday, the organization said it supports House Bill 259, saying it would give businesses that decided to go smoke-free on their own a level playing field.

In its announcement, the group emphasized the dangers of second-hand smoke, particularly inside of bars and restaurants. Smoke-Free Wake leaders cited a 2006 U.S. Surgeon General's report that says people who inhale the smoke are 30 percent more likely to get lung cancer.

The Judiciary Committee passed the ban Tuesday by a 9-4 vote. The measure would prohibit smoking in all indoor workplaces in North Carolina, including bars and restaurants. The rules also would apply to private clubs, except those with nonprofit or tax-exempt status.

The measure would be complaint-driven, with local health departments acting on complaints from the public. Violators would first receive warnings.

Despite opposition to previous anti-smoking legislation, the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association doesn't plan to fight the smoking ban.

If the bill makes it through the General Assembly, North Carolina would join 22 other states and Washington, D.C., in banning indoor smoking.

45 Comments

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  • ghwhitaker1_old Mar 23, 2007

    PS ronrongail: just so you'll know, bars, restaurants, etc. are not public property; all are the personal, private property of one or more individuals. Where do you get the idea that you or anyone else has the "right" to tell the owner of private property what he/she can and cannot do on or in their personal property ?

  • pokeygail Mar 22, 2007

    IF YOU MUST SMOKE THOSE CANCER STICKS DO IT IN THE PRIVACY OF YOUR HOME AND DAMAGE YOUR OWN LUNGS BUT LEAVE INNOCENT CHILDREN AND OTHERS THAT DON'T CARE FOR IT OUT OF IT!!

  • pokeygail Mar 22, 2007

    SMOKERS HAVE RIGHTS IN THERE HOME,CAR,YARD AND ANYTHING ELSE THEY OWN BUT THEY DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO LIGHT UP IN PUBLIC AROUND OTHERS AND CHILDREN AND DIRTY UP THERE LUNGS JUST B/C YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO!!

  • aperalta001 Mar 22, 2007

    Well as far as economy goes, North Carolina is going down quickly! How can a state that claims to be a "tobacco capital" ban smoking?!? I personally do not smoke but if someone needs to smoke then that is their choice. There are alot of bigger issues here than just me liking cigarettes or not! Everyone needs to look at the pros and cons... pro:Capitol within N.C.... con:peoples dislikes... Pro: lives of farmers..... Con:cancer... EVERYTHING needs to be weighed strongly before decided, so don't just jump on the band wagon!

  • JustDontUnderstandPpl Mar 22, 2007

    PS Chris...there should be no special rights for alcohol addicts either. However, they will continue to be able to buy alcohol, drink it in public, get sloppy drunk in public which means they could curse, fight, or tear up the premises, THEN they get to drive their drunk selves home on public highways. So...smokers don't get to inflict second hand smoke but drinkers can make it nasty for others who just want a nice SAFE time out? How fair is that?

  • JustDontUnderstandPpl Mar 22, 2007

    I am sick of everyone trying to ban the use of tobacco in public places, but not alcohol. I am aware of the dangers of second hand smoke, but what about "second hand drinking"? i.e., you drink at a bar and happen to be driving on the same road that I am driving on and your lack of judgement causes a wreck. There are lots more people who can smoke and drive safely than can drink and drive safely...so who wants to vote for safety?

  • ghwhitaker1_old Mar 22, 2007

    Chris: not talking about smokers inflicting their rights on others. You have no rights on or in my private property, whether its a bar, a restaurant, or whatever. If you do not like tobacco smoke, then just stay the heck away from it. And please stop whining; you're giving me a headache which is injurious to my health.

  • Matthew 19_21 Mar 22, 2007

    funny to hear cigarette smokers talk about their "rights" to inflict their habit on others. the federal government doesn't allow citizens to use other drugs like marijuana even in their own homes, so stop whining about the fact that you're losing your "right" to poison the rest of us with your 2nd hand smoke. At least you won't have your home confiscated if you're caught smoking there.

    no special rights for tobacco addicts

  • ghwhitaker1_old Mar 22, 2007

    A wolf in the pack: the proposal under consideration would ban smoking in all public places, including privately owned bars, restaurants and business and professional offices. I built (physically and financially) my own professional office (law). It is therefore my personal property. I have no problem posting a sign at the entrance to my office announcing that smoking is permitted inside. If potential clients do not wish to use the services of someone who smokes and/or permits smoking inside their office, they may exercise their choice to seek another lawyer to handle their matters. It is their choice. What I strongly object to is anyone telling me I cannot smoke in my office, which, by the way, is equipped with a smoke removal system and air cleaner equipment. In over 20 years, 2 people indicated to me their preference that I not smoke during a conference, which request was honored by me.

  • 2 Mar 22, 2007

    ahh, looked back over it and saw that SOME private clubs could be held to this law. Haha.. o well, I am not a smoker nor do I like places where smoking is allowed so I guess its your problem.

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