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Smoking Ban in Charlotte?

Smoking Ban in Charlotte?   80 members have voted

  1. 1. Should the city/county Ban Smoking in Restaurants and Bars?

    • No - Property owner should decide
      17
    • Yes - there is nothing good about smoking
      61
    • No Opinion
      2
  2. 2. Is this possible in a North Carolina city?

    • No - this is still tobaccoland
      7
    • Yes - Charlotte sings to a different tune
      73

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103 posts in this topic

Now that the Surgeon General has announced that second hand smoke, like the kind found in restaurants and bars, will kill you, should the Charlotte city council, or Mecklenburg county council ban smoking in all establishments frequented by the public, namely restaurants & bars? The findings found that no-smoking sections, do not protect the public from the effects of second hand smoke.

Now this sounds obvious, but keep in mind that a significant amount of the entire world's cigarettes are produced right here in the metro at the Phillip Morris plant just up from the racetrack in Concord. The smokes produced in this factory bring untold millions to the local economy and there are large number of high paying jobs there. A negative move from Mecklenburg might put this operation in jeopardy.

What do you think?

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There was an interesting chart in the paper that showed the percentage of people that smoke by county. In Meck, only 17% of the population (I don't remeber the exact percentage) smokes.

I'm for a smoking ban, going out is much more enjoyable when people aren't polluting the air around me.

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Absolutely not. I'm not a smoker, and I hate smelling like smoke when I leave a restaurant or bar, but that's not what this is about. Government has no business whatsoever invading property rights like this. Open market forces decide things like this, not lobbyists and career politicians.

If you don't like the smoke, DON'T GO THERE.

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FYI---A State law passed in the 1990's (H943) with support from big tobacco says local governments are prohibited from passing indoor air quality rules more stringent than state law, so the legislature would have to modify the existing law or give Mecklenburg County an exemption to it. Meck commissoners have already voted 6-1 to seek a ban, and a bill that would give local control over smoking in counties with population of over 650,000 (H840) was introduced in the legislature in March 2005. It has been languishing in a House committee since the day after it was introduced. The Surgeon General's support should give support for moving this forward next session, and the fact that it is not strictly a Charlotte bill should help it too. The legislature already voted this session to ban smoking in the General Assembly building, so tobacco's hardly the king it used to be.

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I realize this wasn't part of the poll but IMO, the next biggest problem I have with smokers 2nd hand smoke is the majority of them throw their butts out the window or on the ground as if it were the norm.

I was in Ocean Isle Saturday helping a friend clean some of his property and I probably picked up 200 cigarette butts off the ground from one house that the previous renters left. This totally disgust me!!

Lancaster, SC passed a law a couple years back making it illegal to throw butts on the ground. I know it's near impossible to enforce a law such as this but it would definately send a message if Charlotte would implement such a law. Apparently, cigarette butts don't qualify under the existing litter laws.

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I am all for a ban. Property rights do not extend to smoking regulation.

Have you lost your mind? Of course they do!

What's next? Can't smoke in your own home? Would you be all for that ban as well?

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I am a smoker and would be all for a ban actually on smoking. Make it easier for me to quit. :D

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Have you lost your mind? Of course they do!

What's next? Can't smoke in your own home? Would you be all for that ban as well?

I meant as a business owner you are not give carte blanche to do what you please.

What people in their own home is nobody's business but their own, but a business is a public place and is open to regulation.

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I am a smoker and would be all for a ban actually on smoking. Make it easier for me to quit. :D

Great point. Hope ya'll don't mind a Georgian "butting in" (hahahaha) but I'm a smoker and the ban we passed down here hasn't really been that much of a problem for me. To be honest, before the ban I always felt guilty smoking in restaurants, especially ones where you were right next to people who were non-smokers. For me, it's a health issue, and there is a precedent for banning smoking in public places; health inspectors come around to restaurants making sure laws are being followed in the preparation of food. In that instance, it's the government deciding that its citizens deserve to be able to eat food that isn't spoiled. What's the difference?

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Absolutely not. I'm not a smoker, and I hate smelling like smoke when I leave a restaurant or bar, but that's not what this is about. Government has no business whatsoever invading property rights like this. Open market forces decide things like this, not lobbyists and career politicians.

If you don't like the smoke, DON'T GO THERE.

I think the government does have a responsibility. Most restaurants allow smoking. You say just don't go there but it isn't that easy as it would weed out a great deal of choices and why should the health conscious be punished just because they refuse to litter their body with cancer sticks?

The government protects citizens by monitoring consumer products for defects that could cause injury, death, etc. Should the government also butt out of consumer products safety? I could turn your comment around and say if you don't like going to a restaurant that doesn't allow smoking then don't go there. Everyone has a right to smoke as many cancer sticks as they want but I don't think anyone should have the right to pass the negative health effects on to individuals who do not want it and are just trying to have a decent meal.

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Absolutely not. I'm not a smoker, and I hate smelling like smoke when I leave a restaurant or bar, but that's not what this is about. Government has no business whatsoever invading property rights like this. Open market forces decide things like this, not lobbyists and career politicians.

If you don't like the smoke, DON'T GO THERE.

Well let's look at this: Your house, car, food, gasoline, office building, working conditions, wage, yard, neighborhood, media, every electronic device, pets, every form of transportation, water, air, medicine, and just about everything else is regulated by the government. Why should smoking be exempt?

Businesses are told what to do all the time. Should we let market forces determine whether I can sell liquor to a four year old? How about letting market forces determine what is a safe way to prepare, store, and serve food? How about we let market forces dictate what I do with the parcel of land next to your home? Maybe I will build a chemical plant or a race track next to your home! Hey, it's my property so i can do whatever I want with it according to you!

Your right-wing political rhetoric is flawed, dated, and out of step with the majority of Americans. Save it for AM talk radio. Blaming lobbyists and career politicians adds absolutely nothing to the discussion. Time and time again, the courts have ruled that property rights are severly limited. Protecting public health will always trump property rights. So yes, the government DOES has the right to regulate smoking in any establishment that wants to set up shop.

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The people in Washington State recently voted in a smoking ban in all public establishments, offices, bars, restaurants, even tobacco shoppes (!)

This is wonderful of course.......but get this: smokers can't light up outside either, if they are within 25 feet of a public doorway!!!!!

I always HATED having to walk through a cloud of smoke outside an entrance. I always held my breath walking through.

Smokers in Washington State are on the run. Even though TONS of people smoke here. I think even a majority of smokers voted in favor of the referendum.

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Coming from a city where public smoking is banned to this one, I am torn. I think the government is sending incredibly mixed messages in regards to tobacco. It is a legal product and if its so bad for the public then why allow it to be sold at all (it kills more than illegal drugs every year). I'm not a smoker and I don't enjoy being in places where people are smoking but I surely have no issue with taking myself elsewhere to smoke free places if I object so strongly to smoking in a bar or restaurant.

Since moving to Charlotte, I haven't had an issue with the smoking in restaurants but I can see where other people would be offended by it. I think the public could vote with their wallets by not supporting places that allow smoking right now.

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I believe the issue that got this to the ballot in Washington State is the issue of second hand smoke.

Studies are showing conclusively that second hand smoke is extremely harmful. Employees in smoking establishments are forced to breathe it at work, thus creating an unhealthful work environment.

Is smoking in offices legal in Charlotte?

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I don't think we simply need to jump to the "let's make it illegal" standpoint every time we run across something we don't like. It seems like I saw a study actually done in Charlotte that said that businesses who ban smoking actually saw little to no decrease in revenue (perhaps this would be different for bars). Instead of jumping off the deep end and forcing a law into place perhaps there could be a grass roots effort to get restaurants to voluntarily eliminate smoking. Perhaps local tv stations and newspapers/magazines can get involved offering discounted ad space to participating restaurants or some other option that might encourage restaurants to join in. Some sort of membership program for restaurants and bars. If in fact revenue isn't significantly decreased (which for the most part I doubt it would be) others will likely join in as well. I just don't think we should be going around throwing laws at everyone every time we don't like something.

As far as employees in restaurants that allow smoking... well, they do have an option of not working there.

Also, air purifiers continue to improve and are actually pretty damn good in many cases. Perhaps people should encourage the restaurants they enjoy to invest in a good air purification system in the smoking areas. Trust me, you would be amazed at what some of those bad boys can achieve.

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Its funny...go to Europe and smoking is basically as common as chatting on a cellphone. They don't seem to having endless debates over who is right or wrong. The cafes in Paris are large enough to move over and get out of the way if it offends you. I think it should remain optional. Smoking is a vile habit, would never try it and it slowly kills you but that is what non-smoking sections of restaurants etc are for. If people want to smoke, then let them. I simply stay away from it in restaurants/bars and have never had a problem.

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Its funny...go to Europe and smoking is basically as common as chatting on a cellphone. They don't seem to having endless debates over who is right or wrong. The cafes in Paris are large enough to move over and get out of the way if it offends you. I think it should remain optional. Smoking is a vile habit, would never try it and it slowly kills you but that is what non-smoking sections of restaurants etc are for. If people want to smoke, then let them. I simply stay away from it in restaurants/bars and have never had a problem.

Europe is joining the forces to ban smoking. Ireland and England are the first countries.

Here in the USA, smoking is banned in residential buildings in Portland, Oregon...either condo or rental!

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I believe the issue that got this to the ballot in Washington State is the issue of second hand smoke.

Studies are showing conclusively that second hand smoke is extremely harmful. Employees in smoking establishments are forced to breathe it at work, thus creating an unhealthful work environment.

Is smoking in offices legal in Charlotte?

Well this is the interesting question that has not been decided in NC courts, though I guess it is just a matter of time. The question of second hand smoke in restaurants and bars isn't really one of an employer's right to offer a space for smokers, but rather the "requirement" they provide a safe place for their employees to work. It remains to be seen if a judge will decide if an employer is liable for lung cancer of its employees who inhaled smoke from the employer's customers.

Right now I don't think there is anything in the law to stop people froms smoking in their offices in NC, but most employers don't allow it. I assume it is ok though in the offices at Phillip Morris.

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^^^ that's good that you've found a way to avoid being exposed to second-hand smoke when you go out:)

I, however, have never been so fortunate. One whiff of cigarette smoke makes me quite ill, makes my eyes water severely.......

While those air filtration systems may help some, for people like me and asthmatics, it's not enough. Going out to a smoking/non smoking restaurant never works. The smoke usually finds it's way to non-smokers' noses first~~~

This is a public health issue if I've ever heard of one.

If Europeans like getting lung cancer and emphysema, let them continue their public smoking tolerance. While I abhor knee-jerk reactionary laws as well, this has been a public issue in the States since the Surgeon General first claimed cigarettes are bad news (back in the 1960s) These new laws may seem draconian to some, but I put public health first.

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I believe in a ban like this, as I believe almost everyone would be happy with one. Businesses rely on a level playing field. Specific businesses can't afford to take the risk of being a lone idealist. But if the playing field is level, there is no risk. Smokers will not stop going to these businesses if a ban is put in place, they will simply smoke during different times of the day, or when they are physically somewhere else.

Considering that we, as a society, are paying huge social and monetary costs for the health care costs related to smoking, this really just seems like a no-brainer. It is free, and only has a mild inconvenience for the smokers.

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I work for Carolinas Health Care System. The system as a whole has determined to ban smoking at all CHS building, including the physicians network buildings. I cannot recall when this policy goes into effect, but the particular hospital that I work in has begun implementing this change. I personally, think it is a good idea. I have never quite understood how a Health Care Organization or Hospital could allow smoking in or around it's building. Talk about your "mixed messages." Interestingly, the system has implemented extensive counseling and cessation courses that will be free for employees wanting to quit. These cessation courses will offer either free cessation tools (patches, gum) or offer these tools at a very generous discount.

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Its funny...go to Europe and smoking is basically as common as chatting on a cellphone. They don't seem to having endless debates over who is right or wrong. The cafes in Paris are large enough to move over and get out of the way if it offends you. I think it should remain optional. Smoking is a vile habit, would never try it and it slowly kills you but that is what non-smoking sections of restaurants etc are for. If people want to smoke, then let them. I simply stay away from it in restaurants/bars and have never had a problem.

I think I would not be so harsh on banning smoking in restaurants if smokers were given their own sealed off room with their own air to breath. The problem with non-smoking sections in restaurants is that it really isn't non-smoking. Often there is no barrier at all between the sections and the best I've seen is a barrier between the sections that only goes up 2/3 of the way. This is unnacceptable. Air quality travels, just ask cities like Charlotte that get smog from other cities without asking for it.

If you smoke I think you should reap the benefits of the air quality you are helping to produce. :rolleyes: I refuse to give up the right to breath clean air just because someone could care less about my health or his/hers.

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So far in this informal UP poll, the percentages in favor of a Charlotte smoking ban are 67-33.

I find this very interesting because these figures are amazingly close to the final outcome in Washington State's recent public smoking referendum (63-37)

Perhaps the support for a public smoking ban in Charlotte might actually be as high as in Washington State (?)

I personally find this a strange thing though, the idea of putting a serious public health issue up to popular vote!

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I refuse to give up the right to breath clean air just because someone could care less about my health or his/hers.

:rofl:

Where does one find this "right" codified?

It's amazing how many "rights" people are willing to make up to support their cause....I guess they fill in for property rights, which seem to have somehow vanished into thin air.

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