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Teens Want Smoke-Free Businesses, Schools

Posted July 12, 2007

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— A statewide report says nearly one in three North Carolina high school students uses tobacco.

Some teens are on a mission to change that. A group of Northern Nash High School teens is joining other students across the county to ask local teen hangouts to go smoke-free.

They're focusing on restaurants, but their work was a big hit at the Rocky Mount Bowling Center. It has been smoke free since March.

“That’s an awesome idea,” said Lamarr Godwin, a camp counselor. “It’s awesome that you can take a group of kids out to an environment where you don’t have to worry about toxic fumes from smoking or stuff like that.”

The teens also are taking the message to the Board of Education asking for a smoke-free-schools policy.

Not everybody thinks it’s awesome, however.

“This business, if you want to smoke, you smoke,” said Sadk Ali, with Lamama Pizza. “Some people need smoke. If you don’t smoke here, you’re going to go out.”

Some managers say business can suffer if they tell customers not to smoke. Health department officials say the opposite is true.

“Businesses do not lose revenue just because they’re smoke-free,” said Amy Doughtie, with Teen Tobacco Prevention. “In fact, they’re increasing, because the families are coming back.”

Bowling Center officials said they are glad they went smoke-free.

“I'm really glad that we did this. It was a big step for us,” said Kitty Powell, Bowling Center manager.


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  • richard2 Jul 14, 2007

    If you want to smoke go outside.

  • NCTeacher Jul 14, 2007

    Do they not realize what the stressed out teachers will do to them when they have had to be at work all day with no cigarette break??

    Trust me on this kids- we know the risks, we are adults, we have decided to smoke anyway. For your own sakes, you do not want your smoker teachers to lose the 5 minutes of sanity they can cram into their planning period.

  • NoToIllegals Jul 13, 2007

    jcrew, that was an intelligent comment.

  • jcrew1979 Jul 13, 2007

    Smoking is nasty and I hate it. It's disrespectful because the smokers are messing up the air the nonsmokers are trying to breathe.

  • SunnyDays Jul 13, 2007

    I think people forget that N.C. is a tobacco STATE, and all the money that has gone into education, etc. from tobacco. Don't get me wrong, I don't smoke, never have. My mother smoked, and it nearly killed me watching what happened to her, however I knew it was an addiction for her. I do not think people should be dictated to on this issue.

    Most restaurants have a smoking/non-smoking section....make your choice.

  • NoToIllegals Jul 13, 2007

    Spazman! LOL!!!!!!! Well stated.

  • spazman Jul 13, 2007

    By the way, are these the same people that drive off bridges drunk?Raise hell in the malls.Wear their pants around their ankles?OH YEAH IM GONNA STOP FOR THEM...

  • spazman Jul 13, 2007

    WHO IN THE HELL ARE TEENS to want anything?This is our world till we turn it over to them.I want a world that is teen free,Can i have it?NO,except in my house(i smoke)I dont listen to pap music..Let them stay in their world and stay out of mine

  • iamforjustice Jul 13, 2007

    They will make it a law soon at fast food restaurants where you have to be under a certain weight to eat there. If you are 300 lbs if you do eat there you can only eat certain things like 1 slice of an apple and a cup of water or if you are over weight they will make you pay more. If you order a double cheesburger with fries and a diet coke it might cost you if overweight 30 dollars as where anyone else would pay 5 dollars. You see how ridiculous this sounds but it could happen. That is when we let "law" control us privately. Like I said, don't make it law to ban smoking, go somewhere else. If it is my restaurant leave me the hell alone.

  • NoToIllegals Jul 13, 2007

    Personally I'd much rather pay the health insurance for smokers than all the freebies given to illegals, criminals, etc., that our tax dollars are so foolishing helping.

    Most smokers are tax paying law abiding citizens.

    You start regulating legal products, watch out fat people, you're next.

    I may not like to see fat people while I eat. Should they be banned? I don't like to watch people drink before eating dinner at a restaurant. Should they be banned?

    See how illogical this thinking is becoming? THINK PEOPLE>
    You'll get what you want eventually, but they'll take more of your freedoms down the road. Just wait and see. Then start complaining.