The state ban on smoking in work places, including restaurants and bars, may soon move outdoors.
State Rep. Theodore C. Speliotis, D-Danvers, introduced a bill in which violators can be fined up to $100 for smoking within 25 feet of an entrance, exit, windows that open, and ventilation intakes serving an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited.
A Northampton bar owner says such a law would be unenforceable, while state Sen. Stephen J. Buoniconti, D-West Springfield, believes the bill equates to a public ban on smoking. However, the legislator also said he welcomes public debate on whether to snuff out smoking in public.
I think we should repeal the existing smoking ban. Whether or not someone should be allowed to smoke in a business should be a decision left up to the owner of that business. If people are opposed to being in a place where people are smoking then the owner has to decide between choosing to ban smoking or risk losing customers.
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For those people who do smoke, some of them are addicts. In many areas, simply walking 25 feet away from the door in not an option. It could put you within 25 feet of the next door, perhaps another business. That is, until they up it to 50 feet, or 100, or the privacy of your own home.
Enforcement will also be an issue. Currently, the people who work at a business can politely ask customers not to smoke and smokers are smart enough to know if they are inside or outside. Are we going to ask business now to monitor activities outside their businesses and off their property? Are smokers supposed to measure off distances to smoke in the street?
So, if big government gets it’s way you could get in big trouble smoking out on a street corner in the cold. Unless, of course, if you’re smoking weed. Then you’ll be fine.