Smokers in Orange County might not be lighting up in public anymore if the Orange County Board of Health passes a proposed rule to ban smoking in public places.
The Board of Health will meet Wednesday to review feedback and make changes to the proposal.
The proposed rule is more comprehensive than any existing ordinances to address smoking, said Stacy Shelp, spokeswoman for the Orange County Health Department.
The new rule would extend the current ordinance to prohibit smoking on government grounds, public transportation, recreational facilities and retail stores.
Members of the board believe banning smoking in public places is an effective way to promote healthy living.
“Comprehensive smoke-free laws are the only effective way to protect everybody’s right to breathe clean air,” Shelp said.
Despite the board’s public health case for extending the ban on smoking, the proposal could spark public backlash.
“I don’t think they’d be able to enforce the rule,” said UNC senior Katherine Kombol. “The smoker population on campus is too big and too strong.”
In 2008, UNC banned smoking within 100 feet of university buildings, including residence halls.