Smoking Ban: Where can you smoke outside?

12:58 AM, May 3, 2007   |    comments
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Channel 3 News found many smokers today taking their last stand confused about where to stand. Faye Hargate slipped out of the office to grab lunch and a quick smoke. Tomorrow's deadline slipped her mind. “I'm glad that you mentioned the law to me or that enforcement is tomorrow.” Faye welcomes the ban. She says she wants to quit anyway. But just like quitting, some habits are hard to break. “I think as a smoker, you just go outside, you light up and you don't think about it.” Right now she's standing just a couple feet from the door. Tomorrow - most buildings - including her own, IMG, will make her stand further away. “Its 30 feet from any door, window, vent, or overhang.” Smokers know they can’t stand anywhere inside, but what about outside? “There has been some confusion about well, how far away from the door do you need to be in order to smoke,” says Dave Covell, Deputy Director of the Division of Environmental Health. Each individual business will decide the distance, putting up signs or placing ashtrays further away from the entrance. “You need to be far enough away from the door so the smoke doesn't go back into the building.” Smoking here on the sidewalk is just fine, but if you're walking or standing next to a non-smoking patio, such as this one, depending on which way the wind blows, it could get you in trouble. Businesses can call and report anyone whose smoke is wafting back into a building. “I don't know how they're going to identify you,” says Todd Shinault. For now, he will stand where he wants. “Tomorrow when somebody says you're not supposed to smoke here, then I’ll move.” The new ban will also prohibit smokers from lighting up in company cars if more than one person is riding along.

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