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SPEAK OUT: County Council Approves Smoking Ban ... Do You?

Montgomery County legislators approved Tuesday a ban of smoking on most county-owned or county-leased property.

Need a cigarette break? Better be careful where you go to have that smoke.

The Montgomery County Council approved Tuesday a ban of smoking on most county-owned or county-leased property. The ban was approved with the following recommended amendments from the Health and Human Services Commission:

  • It prohibits smoking at bus stops and bus shelters.
  • It allows the Director of Health and Human Services to designate outdoor smoking areas on certain county properties.
  • It does not prohibit smoking on golf courses. 
  • It prohibits smoking at county-owned residences, but includes a grandfather clause allowing existing tenants to smoke.

The bill will allow the Director of Health and Human Services to designate outdoor smoking areas on certain county properties.

“There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” Councilwoman Nancy M. Floreen (D-At large) of Garrett Park said in a statement. “We are stewards of public health. The passage of [the smoking ban] will help us to protect our residents, employees and visitors from dangerous exposure. I applaud my colleagues for standing with me and sending a clear signal that we are a healthy Montgomery."

SPEAK OUT: What's your take on Montgomery County's new smoking ban? Do you think it will significantly reduce exposure to secondhand smoke or does it serve more as an inconvenience to those who choose to smoke? Tell us in the comments.

Related Coverage:

  •  (Jan. 25, 2013)
  •  (Jan. 22, 2013)
  • VIDEO: Montgomery Looks to Broaden its Ban on Smoking (Nov. 16, 2012)
  • Floreen Seeks Smoking Ban at All County Property (Nov. 13, 2012)
Holly Stephens February 21, 2013 at 03:09 PM
From two students in my Blair HS 9th grade English class: ----------- I agree with this smoking ban because it will help us more than it would ever hurt us. When the county council approved of the ban they didn't completely take out the right to smoke, just the areas that are public. However, they said they would designate outdoor smoking areas. I also agree because it will decrease the exposure to secondhand smoking, so people won't be as affected. ----------- Montgomery County's new smoking ban is just a waste of time. Some smokers will follow the ban but some will ignore it and continue to smoke anywhere they want to. The ban would be an inconvenience to smokers bcause they would think of it as another complication and they would protest against it. There are many people who are addicted to smoking and would have a difficult time abiding by those bans and smoke in areas where smoking will be banned. If the ban was to be passed then it would have been passed for no reason and things would still be unchanged. What if the smoking areas were located far from where a smoker is working? It would be a drag just to travel there to smoke and it will lead them on to just forget the ban and smoke anywhere they want to. Only a few smokers will be respectful to the ban and choose to smoke in specific smoking areas so it wouldn't make a difference. Therefore, the Montgomery County smoking ban should not be passed.
Holly Stephens February 27, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Another 2 say: --------------------------- I strongly agree with the smoking ban! Why should other people be at risk to exposure from secondhand smoke? A cigarette contains more than 4,000 different chemicals; more than 50 are known to cause cancer. Those chemicals float into your lungs when exposed to secondhand smoke. How about the children, defenseless, who can't do anything to get away from the smell. I think it's good how they're banning smoking at bus stops, because that's where most smokers take their breaks. Honestly I feel smoking shouldn't even be legal; it's an unhealthy bad habit. This ban will reduce the exposure to secondhand smoke because there are fewer places to smoke now. As for the people who choose to smoke, that's just their fault. ----------------- I think it depends on who smokes, because if someone was at the bus stop by himself and he smokes, it wouldn't hurt anyone but himself. If there are 20 people at the bus stop and I smoke it wouldn't be the best idea, given the effects of secondhand smoking on 20 people. Smoking can help some people relax, but it causes a lot of harm to your organs so I think it would be wrong for 1 person to ruin himself and everyone around him, just so he can relax. It would be a little irritating if no one is around and you want to smoke, but can't, knowing it would harm no one else. But overall it would help a lot of people to lose addiction, less lung problems, and save $7 for every pack they "could've" bought.
Holly Stephens March 01, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Another says: ----------------- Montgomery County's new smoking ban shouldn't be passed. Smoking is an addiction and people aren't just going to stop right away just because it's being banned. Also, it would be difficult for them to quit because some smokers have been smoking for a long time and they need to smoke. Smoking is something that can never be banned because it's something very hard to take away. All the places that are banning smoking are still going to have smokers because it's a habit for them and they can't stop it. I think that only a few smokers will follow the ban and smoke where they are supposed to because they would like to keep the county clean.
Holly Stephens March 07, 2013 at 05:28 PM
And another says: ------------------------ I agree that the smoking ban should be approved. I'm sure all the non-smokers do too. Just because smokers like to take risks and smoke, doesn't mean non-smokers do too. Cigarettes affect not just the smokers; it affects everyone around them too. Many people are concerned about second hand smoke. For example, a Councilwoman Nancy M. Floreen says, "There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke." This shows that she is aware of being affected by second hand smoke, she is also aware that the second hand smoke is really dangerous. She is also scared that her workers can be affected by second hand smoke. That is why many people and I agree with the County Council approving the smoking ban.
Holly Stephens March 18, 2013 at 03:40 PM
And another: ----------------- I am a high school student who agrees with the County Council's decision to approve a smoking ban in some public areas. I agree with the decision because there are times people don't want to breathe second hand smoke. I think it is so appropriate to create smoking areas for smokers. Not everybody smokes or lies the stench of smoke from cigarettes so why should they endure people smoking, when smokers can just get an area where they and smokers like themselves could be.

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