Local Viewpoint - Smoking

By Ted Fortenberry - bio | email

North Carolina is getting closer to passing legislation that would ban smoking in public places. A new cigarette tax took effect last week across America. South Carolina legislators are considering increasing the state cigarette tax, currently one of the lowest in the country. If you were considering kicking the habit, you now have more motivation to help you make that change.

In our local view, we hope North Carolina implements some type of non-smoking ordinance, and we wish South Carolina would do the same by creating a consistent policy for the entire state. With so many states enacting smoking bans, we find that people are shocked when they come to South Carolina and a hostess asks if they prefer smoking or non-smoking.

And to everyone who says if you're going to ban smoking then you need to ban this and that, here's the difference: If someone is sitting there eating a big plate of bacon, that choice does not impact like smoke filling up a room or car for everyone else, especially kids, to breathe and create potential health risks.

Pass the tax on cigarettes and pass the law to ban smoking. Maybe that one-two punch will help us all breathe a little better.

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