Winston Salem, NC (PRWEB) July 21, 2010
Winston-Salem, North Carolina (PRWEB) July 21, 2010 — The Winston-Salem (NC) Transit Authority is considering a ban on smoking in bus shelters but the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association says it has a better idea – post courtesy messages, instead.
The WSTA Board recently discussed the issue and plans to bring it up again at their next meeting, in response to a complaint by a single rider.
“The world is upside down,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR. “There’s no need to ban smoking in bus shelters and, even if it were enacted, there would be virtually no practical way to enforce it. Just because one person complained, doesn’t mean thousands of other bus riders who happen to be smokers should be inconvenienced.”
The single complaint centered on the shelters on Hawthorne Road, near Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, where Center employees often go to smoke, away from the non-smoking hospital grounds.
“Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” said McCalla. “Instead of an outright ban, simply post signs reminding smokers to be considerate of others when there is a need for them to share a shelter with non-smokers. Smokers, by and large, are a considerate bunch and will appreciate the civil tradeoff.”
McCalla said it had nothing to do with alleged health factors regarding secondhand smoke.
“The oh-so-brief encounters of random whiffs of smoke will not harm anyone. After all, even the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor has established safe levels of secondhand smoke. Some people just don’t like the smell of smoke, but there’s no reason that the rights of smokers should be trumped by a few non-smokers. Besides, a good cigar or pipe usually emits quite an enjoyable odor.”
McCalla asked, “What if someone complained about the odor of cheap perfume or wet dogs? What if someone complained about seriously obese people taking up more than their share of seating space in the shelters and on buses?
“Imposing a smoking ban in bus shelters is the first step on a slippery slope that could lead to even more ridiculous conclusions,” he said.
Instead, McCalla believes posting signs urging smokers to display courtesy to non-smokers with whom they share bus shelters is the civil way to manage the situation.
“This way, everybody wins.”