Recently there has been a lot of talk about Charleston City Council trying to pass an ordinance that would ban smoking in practically all public buildings. The ban would include late night bars and clubs, meaning that if you went to a bar one night in Charleston and you were a smoker that you could not smoke, in fact you would not able to smoke within fifteen feet of the building.

The ban, that the city is trying to pass, is simply unreasonable. Where do they intend for smokers to smoke. The buildings downtown are lucky if they are two feet apart, what is the probability of getting fifteen feet from a building downtown? Possibly if the ban were altered to say that you can't loiter in front of a building and smoke it would be more reasonable. Secondly as long as you"re outside of the building, in all honesty, you aren't affecting anyone but yourself with the smoke. .

Maybe it is possible to ban smoking in all public places but there are a few things that the members have not thought about. Tourism is makes up for most of Charleston City's revenue, if even just twenty-five percent of the tourist are smokers then making an ordinance to completely ban smoking in all buildings would simply hurt the income. If you were a tourist who came to Charleston for the nightlife went to a bar and could not smoke a cigarette in a bar how often would you come back for the nightlife? Passing this smoking ban will hurt our tourism, which will in turn hurt our economy.

I myself am not a smoker, but most of my family does smoke. Speaking with my mother this weekend I found that she was appalled that Charleston would ban smoking in all buildings. She said that she felt like it was unconstitutional. I don't plan to get in an argument with anyone on what is or isn't constitutional but I will say this much, when my grandma and mother come to visit we go downtown so that they can see the Charleston sites and every now and again we have to stop so that my grandma can rest her feet and a cigarette.