Wash. voters weigh toughest smoking ban

Nov. 1, 2005 at 4:34 PM
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SEATTLE, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The state of Washington would have the toughest smoking ban in the United States under a referendum going before voters next week, a report said.

Washington's proposal would bar smoking in all public facilities and workplaces and allow no exception for bars or private clubs, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Smoking also would be banned within 25 feet of doors, windows and vents of public places.

"Somewhere in the middle lies fairness," said Dale Taylor, who works for Seattle's Rain City Cigar. "That's what we need here -- not this sledgehammer-swatting-a-fly (approach)."

Washington's ban was not negotiated with bar, restaurant and tobacco interests, said Bronson Frick, associate director of Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights.

"It's difficult to craft an exemption (for establishments that have) a business model based on poisoning people," Frick said.

While 13 other states bar smoking in public places, most have exemptions. Washington would exempt only private homes and home-based businesses.

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