Smoking ban may move outside.

Springfield Republican

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.


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.

About Mike "DD4RP" Rossettie

  • You know, I understand how people can be offended by smoke…I get that it.  It doesn’t bother me, but I get their point.  But as someone pointed out, this law is often unenforceable.  RI has the exact same thing, and although it sounds good, it is often ignored, and sometimes just not feasible.  Retail food and bars have mixed reviews since smoking was pushed out into the streets.  Some love it some say it has killed their businesses.  We have to remember that a board of health can pass what is effectively law without Beacon Hill, or regard to the economic impact.

    What bothers me though is the erosion of choice.  Proposals have already been made to ban smoking on streets.  In the car if there are minor children (which I am ambivalent about because children have no choice).  But how long before that can be extended over the threshold of a private home?  The supreme court has been very confusing in it’s treatment of vehicles as an extension of one’s home and has somewhat schizophrenic rules that are very confusing.  But how long before the sanctity of a private home is invaded?  Death by a thousand cuts.  It’s been done with guns laws already.  How long is before we say “Hey Joe…can’t smoke in your house now because you have minor children”