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RDU Smoking Limits Ignite Some Opposition

Posted January 1, 2008

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— Many public buildings across Wake County went tobacco-free Tuesday, but the new smoking restrictions at Raleigh-Durham International Airport irked some travelers.

A new ordinance restricts smoking outside RDU's two terminals and other buildings here at the airport. Smokers must be at least 50 feet away from airport buildings or inside a designated smoking zone before lighting up. Smoking is also banned inside the parking garages and bus shelters.

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority decided to snuff out smoking because of countless complaints from travelers wanting a smoke-free environment, officials said.

"I think they must not have enough to do," smoker Eddie Randolph said of airport officials.

Randolph was eager to have a cigarette Tuesday after spending about two hours in a plane, but an airport police officer interrupted his smoke outside the terminal. Randolph said he thinks the new rules are ridiculous.

"I'm sitting there beside a taxi cab. The exhaust system five (feet) from me (was) pumping its exhaust, pumping into my lungs. But this cig is going to kill me – does it make sense?"

Several other smokers were caught lighting up within feet of the "No Smoking" signs. RDU officials said violators would be warned initially but would later face $50 fines.

Other travelers, including some smokers, said they liked RDU's effort to reduce smoking.

"Actually, I think it is a good idea even though I am a smoker," Priscilla MacPhee said.

"I really don't think it is a bad idea because, if you are a non-smoker and you walk through a cloud of other people smoking, it's irritating," traveler Susan Potter said.


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  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Jan 3, 2008

    Smokers defend smoking by naming every other lung irritant, like car exhaust, formaldehyde in carpet, etc.... so that makes it ok for us to add one more COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY irritant like cigarette smoke?

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Jan 3, 2008

    "According to the CDC, there are no (ZERO) deaths attributable to smoking among persons under age 35. The reason is quite simple: it is rare for young people to die from smoking."

    It's so funny listening to the smokers try to defend smoking. Actually, it would be funny if it wasn't so SAD.

  • lizard Jan 3, 2008

    It's about money people. There is no "smoking lobby" out there to pump millions into the legislative process.

  • Your Reality Check Bounced Jan 3, 2008

    I support you smoking all you please.

    I do not support your insistence that you be allowed to do it anywhere you please. I am neither asthmatic nor especially allergic to the substance, yet it only takes walking through a cloud of smoke once for my hair and clothing to reek of smoke and cause me to cough and feel queasy all day.

    My son is both allergic and asthmatic, and I'm furious when he can't make use of a restroom because someone is smoking in there or you deliberately blow smoke in his direction and laugh as he coughs and gasps. I resent medicating him for your amusement.

    I'm sure you'd be supportive if those who indulge in other habits, say alcohol or foods you think they should avoid, stood around the doorways to smear their drinks and food in your hair and on your clothing as you walk by, or laughed as they force-fed your allergic child some forbidden food.


    You want a healthy child and to not be covered in the substances of others' habits?

    Me too.

  • DRA Jan 2, 2008

    If smokers have a right to smoke anywhere, then my right to not have cigarrette smoke around me is just as valid. you are exactly right if you dont like it then stay away from it how hard is that

  • wwyoud Jan 2, 2008

    poohperson, I'm sorry about your aunt and grandmother. However, is it possible that they were exposed to other lung irritants during their lives? Formaldehyde is a big concern now (google the Katrina trailers), yet it was used in so much housing in the 70's and 80's, and still is used in carpeting and such! There were also workplaces which had nasty things in the air, which we now know are carcinogens. There's even some research to suggest that all these air fresheners and scented candles contain some bad stuff; many asthmatics cannot tolerate them at all. All I'm saying is that there is research out there from reputable places, for several years, that finds difficulty in assigning only tobacco as a cause for lung cancer and emphysema; it may contribute, but may well not be the primary cause. There are many other possible culprits.

  • kimandem Jan 2, 2008

    Cheese chomper's girlfriend works until 6:00 at the laundromat so he had to make a cheese tray with some saltines so it would be ready in time for her arrival so she would make the car payment on his GEO this month. We'll hear back from him tomorrow when she leaves to go starch some more clothes. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Travised Jan 2, 2008

    I think I found one post about what I was looking for before this became a ranting page..

    Has RDU become smoke free INSIDE? The Sports Bar/Restaurant was the smoking area I knew of when flying through.

    My flight was delayed slightly once so I had to use it a couple of extra times when waiting for them to pull up. Food wasn't bad either there :) .

    Away from doors is in reality a typical restriction. If you are 30-50 feet away from entry points most places don't give a darn rather than having "assigned" smoking areas (like hospitals).

  • kimandem Jan 2, 2008

    Hey Big Cheese Chomper! Go back to Wisconsin where only 3 other people live & live in your home that has to be registered with the DMV & complain about second hand smoke. Waaaaaah! Waaaaah! We don't want you here just because the girlfriend you met online changes tires at the Lube Joint & pays your bills.

  • Harry Canyon Jan 2, 2008

    Truth, hey no big deal that's what makes America great. I just don't believe communism will work in a capitalist society.