The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday September 25th

Close but no cigar: A new N.C. bill would further prohibit smoking should be changed

Decreasing cigarette use is a good thing. But forbidding people to smoke across the state infringes on their rights.

A recently introduced bill would ban smoking on all public property and in places of employment.

A haze of smoke is inconvenient and unhealthy for those who choose not to light up.

But smokers should have some place where they can exercise their personal freedoms even if others disagree with them.

Under the University's current policy" people cannot smoke within 100 feet of any building.

The only place that it's possible is at the flagpole near Polk Place.

The flagpole itself is 100 feet away from all campus buildings — but the grassy quad that surrounds the pole isn't.

With a designated area as vague as ""the flagpole"" the rule is too difficult to enforce, and smokers inadvertently violate it every day.

And it is obvious that the solution to prevent secondhand smoke is not to put every smoker within a 10-mile radius in one spot — in the middle of campus.

The current University ban is not working.

These flagpole"" smokers are frowned upon" and nonsmokers are inconvenienced and angry.

The newly proposed law is even more prohibitive.

Legislators should revise the bill to give people a specified place to smoke while still protecting those who choose not to.

That way smokers can smoke and nonsmokers don't have to see smell or breathe in the byproducts.

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