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Smoking ban may pass this year

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For years, state legislators have been trying to pass a bill to ban smoking in bars and restaurants in North Carolina. Some representatives say this may be the year it passes. The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill to ban smoking in bars, restaurants, indoor workplaces and public buildings. That bill now heads to the House of Representatives. Representative Bonner Stiller said making restaurants and bars smoke free is the right decision. “I think the overall majority of people who want to go out and eat, and being in a non-smoking atmosphere, is much much greater, than folks who want to go there and smoke.” The House has voted against similar bills twice in the last four years.

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smoking ban

If people would acknowledge how harmful their smoking is to others and only smoke in the privacy of thier own homes this would be a non issue. You have your "right" to smoke. You don't have the right to pollute the air of others. Seems the arguement to be allowed to smoke has the unwritten message of "I don't give a damn what it does to others". I do not smoke and I CAN NOT alway avoid being around it. Non smoking sections do not protect me from your smoke that, unfortunately, does not stay in the smoking section. My health, and the health of others, is seriously affected by your smoke. Has anyone seen the bumper sticker....."Having a non smoking section in a building is like having a non peeing section in a swimming pool". Once again, you are not losing your right to smoke. You are only being made to keep your harmful habit away from others.

Smoking Ban

Recently moved from NY state my wife and I knew coming in that we were coming into a tobacco state and accept that for its' obvious revenue stream but not to the extent in the public common areas like restaurants and bars...it certainly has been an eye opener and of course we would love to see this piece of legislation passed...there's plenty of time to pollute the air other than these locations!

Smoking

There is no such thing as smokers' rights. Smoking is a choice and not a "right" that is protected by anything. Unfortunately, your choice to smoke does infringe on my right to breathe clean air.

Smoking in public

I am not a smoker but I will defend the smokers here. I don't think the gov't should regulate that the whole city/county be non smoking. If you want to smoke and kill your lungs/body/etc. go ahead. I choose not to be around it so I will find a way to move around the smokers. Most smokers I have known are courteous enough to turn away from someone or step out to smoke. Not all smokers walk up to someone and blow second hand smoke in their face. If an individual business (ie a restaurant or store) wants to ban smoking on their private property then that is up to them. Most restaurants that allow smoking have well ventilated, seperate sections that are no where near non-smokers. The government doesn't need to touch our own individual rights in regards to smoking.

Reply to your post

I am a Tobacco Prevention Health Educator in an Eastern county that is known for growing tobacco. I would like to take a few moments to respond to your previous post. It is great that you make a conscious effort to withdraw yourself from areas where people are smoking and that will benefit you to a certain degree. But I am sure that you do eat out or are on occasion in a location where being around courteous or uncourteous smokers can not be avoided. So, I would like to say that while no one you know may blow smoke in your face, you are still being exposed to secondhand smoke. And there is no ventilation system or non smoking section in any restaurant that will filter that smoke. Therefor, a smoking or non-smoking section does not matter. In the latest Surgeon General's report he makes reference and shows support of that claim. For every eight smokers that die from a tobacco related illness, one nonsmoker exposed to secondhand smoke will die. As for the government making the controversial decision for the county/state to go smoke free, as you and I both know, they have all the right in the world to do that. Because, after all they run the government. And while we may not with all of their decisions. That fact can not be avoided. Seeing as our state is in a surplus amount of debt regarding healthcare - they would be taking a step in the right direction to pass this bill.Lost productivity and healthcare cost related to smokers range anywhere from $1.92 billion to $2.82 billion. We as a state can not keep affording to watch these prices increase, because in the end, it only effects the tax payer just like you and me.

Tobacco Prevention Health Educator??

So you are a Tobacco Prevention Health Educator? I have no idea what that is, but I'll bet that those figures you've cited help you keep your job. I mean come on, the government will put out any numbers to prove any point it wants. Do you have the figures of the amount of money that the smokers are already paying in sin tax? As I said in my post below, let economics sort it out .

wondering

What is the lost productivity and health care costs for drunks?

Smoking Ban

We work to free other countries from the one thing we are starting to let run us, THE GOVERNMENT!! Where are our rights? There are no smoking/smoking seats in restaurants in NC. I do not smoke but let me see it through most eyes... I can go into a bar and smoke a cigarette and I hurt NO ONE, I go into a bar drink for a few hours,get in my car, start my car, drive my car.. Hit an innocent person KILL them, but yet I only did what the government allowed me to do... If we stop smoking then stop drinking, stop cussing, STOP BREATHING!! Letting the government tell us how to live our lives is taking away our rights. You wait, all the non smoker (haters) out there, YOU ARE NEXT.. Also, put it this way... We have HOW MANY UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE!! So let's ban smoking... Well there goes more jobs. Restaurants will not be as full, crime goes up.. the now unemployed will start stealing.... But all the tobacco farmers without a means of income... Hell why don't we just give the government what they won't. Did it bother you that YOUR child is taught the Pledege of Alligance without GOD.. Probably not, but it bothers me that I am 36 yrs old, work full time, wife, mother, daughter, sister... I pay my taxes, but that isn't enough for the greedy, power hungry politicians. Guess what... WHEN YOU GET ON YOUR KNEES AND PRAY TO GOD AND THAT BECOMES A CRIME, where will you go..I can tell you where they will....

Smoking Ban!

For Pete's sake, get a life, maybe an education and stop drawing conclusions based on personal conditioning and spurious logic. Many states have had smoke free environments in bars and restaurants for years and you can still get on your knees whenever you want. Bars and taverns have found that their business increased once they went "Smoke Free" since 75% of Americans don't smoke.

Restaurant sells actually

Restaurant sells actually increase when they go non smoking. No one wants to go to a restaurant/bar and smell like an ashtray after they leave. It is simple...If you have a habit that harms others, do that habit on your own property. If a restaurant/bar owner wants to be open to the public, then he/she has certain responsibilities to make sure that his establishment is safe for the public. That includes safety of the food/drink, adequate fire exits, and yes air quality.

Not the brightest bulb are you?

"yet I only did what the government allowed me to do" So now the government ALLOWS you to drive drunk? I'm pretty sure it is illegal to drive drunk. Try thinking before you open your mouth.

Non-smoking city

After living in a non-smoking city for a while, people will get over it. It was a big deal here when it changed, now nobody cares and they just go outside to smoke. Everyone agrees that the experience of going out has improved dramatically since the ban went into effect.

Dumb thats all I say!!

I use to live in NC in Wilmington and Holden Beach!!! I now live in New Mexico and we have the no smoking ban here but you know what... they get around that!! People are going to do what they want to do!! If people dont want to be around smoke dont go to a place that lets smokes be there!! People who go to Bars who smoke want to drink and smoke all they want to!! We are trying to tell smokers you cant smoke even though the south depends on the tabacco!! So let me ask you whats next??? Are we going to start telling FAT people they cant eat anymore cause its bad for them?? Or what else?? There are better things to complain about!! Oh also did you think on how much money the citys would lose or the clubs or bars or food places??? Probley not!!

Please all-wise all-knowing politicians, save me

1st I am not a smoker. But the problem here to me seems to be that the government is again in an area of individual rights. I believe it was wrong for them to make a law requiring that a restaurant owner had to designate a section for non-smokers. If the statics are true from another post, that 4 out of 5 people do not smoke (I think that is a little high) then it would seem to me that all the government should do is require the owner to post outside if his/her establishment is smoking or non-smoking or both, then let simple economics sort it out from there. I have a lot of friends that smoke and even though I have heard complaints from them about some of their favorite restaurants going non-smoking, I haven't heard them say that they would quit going there. The non-smokers on the other hand seem to be more hard line. If the owner of a restaurant wants his/her clientele to be smokers, he should be able to offer them that. The same is true for a owner that does not want smoking. The public would then make their own decision, and eventually the owner would either stay with their decision, or change to stay in business. .... Because believe it or not, contrary to popular belief, we do not need the likes of Bev Purdue or Washington saving us from ourselves.

While they are at it...

Could they also do something about the billigerent drunk sitting next to me in the resturant.. oh wait nevermind he's getting in his car and driving off. Well, there's no harm there atleast he wasn't smoking. I don't mind if he goes out and kills someone because he is so blitzed he doesn't remember his own name, just god forbid he lights one up!

You are comparing apples to

You are comparing apples to oranges. Someone drinking has nothing to do with second hand smoke and the smell of smoke from someone sitting next to you. If the guy get's obnoxious, call a manager and let him deal with it. If I'm sitting next to someone smoking there is nothing I can do about it. Try to stick on topic

Thank Goodness, it want pass soon enough!!!

It's simple, just walk into any smoking establishment, many on Carolina Beach Rd., and then a non-smoking establishment. Notice the dinginess, the stench and then try to breathe in the smoking establishment, good luck. Not a problem in the non-smoking areas. Smokers don't care about this issue because if they don't care about themselves then why care about others.

smoking

Bravo! Ban smoking I say. Smoking causes cancer and harms others plain and simple. The government does meddle in our lives about a bunch of things but, with regards to smoking, when it comes to a nasty habit that plagues our society, the time is now.

Overbearing, intrusive government

Government should not be able to tell privately owned business what they can and can't do. If you don't like smoke, go to a smoke free joint and shut up.

Are you insane?

Sooooooooo...the government should be able to tell privately-owned businesses what they can / can't do? Wow. Based on your mind-bogglingly dumb statement, government agencies should not be able to mandate that exotic clubs are not allowed to engage in anything that could be construed as prostitution. Government agencies should not be able to tell those who import/export to not bring illegal drugs into this country. Government agencies should not be able to dictate certain codes of cleanliness for restaurants. It's on you, pal. My right to breathe outweighs your CHOICE to smoke. You don't like it? TOUGH. Go somewhere else and shut up your stupid mouth. You DO understand the point I'm making here, right?

I wish you nanny-staters

I wish you nanny-staters like you would stop begging government to take care of all your problems.

What is the definition of a nanny-stater? Hmmmm......

Which problems are you talking about? Access to health care, roads, highways, bridges, clean water and air, military protection, FAA, FDA, National Institute of Health, Center for Disease Control, and on and on and on. Need I list more.

Ahhhhhh Chooooo

Sneezes kill more people and put more in the hospital than second hand smoke. Diseases such as measles and the flu are transmitted by the sneeze. We should ban sneezing. I know more people die from staph infections spread about in hospitals than second hand smoke. Why not make it a crime for nurses etc who dont wash their hands between patients? And don't get me started on the toxins in carpet and the glue that holds together your saw dust particleboard tables. Smoking is stupid, complaining about second hand smoke is just being a baby. When you smell flatulence you are smelling bacteria that has found its way into your nose. Free Titan!

smoking in bars/restaurants

Just got back from Ireland and Scotland, where smoking is banned in all pubs and restaurants. What a pleasant experience. You still have to hold your breath through a billowing cloud of toxins as you walk through the sidewalk crowd out front of the establishment, but non-smokers CAN hold their breath. Inside each pub was clean, bright, and even had some children inside during the daylight hours. I'm sure the pub owners appreciate not having to clean yellow smoke residue off of everything (look up third hand smoke - residue on furniture and clothes causes cancer too). Most smoker I come in contact with actually smoke outside their own homes, so I see no big deal in them smoking in front of or behind bars. The right for me to swing my fist ends with your face. The right for you to smoke in public ends with my lungs. Smoke em if ya got em, just not near me.

If they really cared about

If they really cared about public health and safety, ban drinking in public places too. I can't stand to be around an alcoholic that smells like a brewery, loudmouth, 10 foot tall and bulletproof and may get into their vehicle and kill someone. Get out of the alcohol,lottery and sin tax business if you care so much about my health and safety.

Ban Big Goverment

You kind of picked the wrong name didn't you. Or do you just want the government to step in when you think they should? Like, say for instance, when it's somebody else's rights that you have a problem with. what a hypocrite! We should fear the government taking away these kind of rights a lot more than how they spend our money.

Step out

Let individuals decide if they want to go into a (privately owned) smoking or non-smoking bar. "Big government is not the solution, big government is the problem". If they want to ban smoking in public places like sidewalks, public parks... fine. "when it's somebody else's rights that you have a problem with". I have no problem when it's someone else's right. I have a choice to be around them or not.

Smoking Ban could pas this year

Just one step closer to a communist country. Do the American people not realize how many freedoms have been taken from them in the last 5 or 10 years??? No smoking in a BAR??? That is a hangout for adults and adults should be able to decide whether or not going to a BAR is worth dealing with the smoke or not! My goodness our society is so high and mighty acting. Kids can't do anything anymore without it being a crime (skateboarding) parents can't discipline their kids (child abuse)teachers can't spank a misbaving child (child abuse) so they run amuck. This country's leaders are so disappointing and unreasonable in their decisions. We are doomed as a nation. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!

smoke everywhere

If smoking is harmless lets light up everywhere. I like to smoke in banks, schools, hospitals, grocery stores, pharmacys,movie theaters, and lets not forget church. Or is that too much, does the bible say anything about smoking? Why dont you lazy slobs just take your nasty habit outside, oh yeah dont leave your butts lying around, or is litering okay with you too?

GO SHERRY

SHERRY I DONT KNOW YOU HOWEVER YOU ARE RIGHT - I CHOOSE NOT TO SMOKE AND IT DOES BOTHER ME. HOWEVER YOU ARE 100% CORRECT - THERE HAS BEEN ALOT OF "RIGHTS" TAKEN FROM US IN THE PAST TEN YEARS AND YOU ARE 100% CORRECT ON THE CHILDREN - I MYSELF AM ONLY 25 YEARS OLD HOWEVER CHILDREN IN THIS AREA HAVE HAD ALOT TAKEN FROM THEM AND ARE CASTED DOWN UPON QUITE A BIT FOR EXAMPLE IN SOUTHPORT, THE "HOME" OF THE 4TH OF JULY FESTIVAL. THERE ARE NO PARKS TO PLAY IN, NO SKATE PARK, NO BASEBALL FIELDS, NO FOOTBALL FIELDS, NO TENNIS COURTS NOR PUBLIC SWINGS. THIS BOTHERS ME BECAUSE WHEN I WAS GROWING UP THERE WAS A BEAUTIFUL PARK FOR THE KIDS TO ENJOY OFF OF 9TH STREET AND THERE WAS A TENNIS COURT AND PICNIC SETTING AT LEONARD & WILLIS BOTH BEING IN SOUTHPORT. WITHOUT HAVING A PLACE FOR THE CHILDREN TO GROW UP IN, THAT TRULY CARES FOR THEM, THEY ARE SET TO DEFAULT TO COMPUTERS AND VIDEO GAMES OR TO THE LATER BEING INVOLVED IN CRIME. I KNOW THAT THERE HAS BEEN ALOT OF CHANGES IN THE PAST HOWEVER ONE OF THE CHANGES THAT HAS BEEN FOR THE WORST WAS ALLOWING JOE MEDLIN TO RETIRE, WITHOUT HAVING SOMEONE IN PLACE AS GREAT AS HE, THAT WOULD STAND UP FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE AREA AND PROVE TO THE CITY THAT THE CHILDREN ARE WORTH INVESTING THERE TIME INTO. I FIND IT HARD TO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS NOW A PARKING LOT AND A OVERGROWN FIELD WHERE ONCE STOOD 2 BASEBALL FIELDS, 1 TEE BALL FILED, A CONSESSION STAND, A FULL SIZE FOOTBALL FIELD NOT TO METION A FULLY EQUIPTED PLAY GROUND AREA WITH HANDMADE BY JOE PICNIC TABLES AND GRILLS FOR ALL TO ENJOY. NOT TO RAMBLE BUT PEOPLE COMPLAIN WHEN A CHILD IS SKATING ON THE SIDEWALKS AND PLAYING BALL IN THE STREETS BUT NO OFFENSE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, I WOULD RATHER THE CHILDREN PLAY IN THE PARKS OR ON THE SIDEWALKS FOR "FUN" THAN TO HAVE TO ARREST A "CHILD" FROM A HOUSE THAT THEY HAVE JUST BROKEN INTO FOR "FUN". AND THIS HAPPENS ALL TO MANY TIMES. THERE IS TO MUCH SMALL TOWN POLITICS INVOLVED IN TRYING TO KEEP SOUTHPORT OLD VERSUS ALLOWING SOUTHPORT TO GROW WITH THE CHILDREN THAT ONE DAY WILL LEAD THIS NATION. SO SHEERY I KNOW THAT I HAVE STUMBLED OFF OF THE SMOKING TOPIC HOWEVER I BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE STIRRED UP A VERY VALUABLE POINT. SO THANKS IS TO YOU SHERRY RICHARDSON FOR STANDING UP FOR THE CHILDREN.