Asheville, North Carolina - as of July 1st no smoking in parks, greenways and around city buildings..

April 28, 2010 - The ban will go into effect July 1, 2010 and prohibits smoking cigarettes, cigars or other types of tobacco in parks or greenways and around city buildings. It follows a state prohibition that started this year on smoking in most bars and restaurants and similar rules passed by the county against lighted tobacco products around county buildings.

Those violating the ban are responsible for an infraction and can be fined $50. That fine can also be brought against people violating private non-smoking rules at businesses or other private buildings.

Along with the outdoor ban, the rule prohibition puts the force of law behind non-smoking rules at businesses or other private buildings used by the public, giving owners the right to call the police on smokers.

Proponents said the ban would protect public health and reduce litter, while critics said it was an infringement on individual rights that will be hard to enforce.

Buncombe County Health Department Director Gibbie Harris said the change makes Asheville “a leader among municipalities in North Carolina in the prevention of exposure to second-hand smoke.” Less than five cities and counties have enacted such bans allowed by recently passed state law.

The tobacco industry has traditionally been one of the most important industries in North Carolina and a backbone of the state's agricultural heritage.

Reference: City of Asheville to ban smoking in parks, near municipal buildings
Fine for lighting up would be $50
, Joel Burgess,, 4/28/2010.

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