Readers debate smoking ban

Lisa Morrow of Clovis smokes as she studies for her real estate exam Thursday night at Dave’s Coffee Shop. Morrow, who does not smoke in her house, was at Dave’s so she could study and smoke. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)

Project Reader Reaction

A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked about Clovis Mayor David Lansford’s proposal to ban smoking in all the city’s public-access buildings. Some responses:

“I AM IN FAVOR of it. The only way smoking should be allowed in a restaurant is to have a sealed room so the smoke and smell can’t get out into the non-smoking area.”
— Jeff Greene, Clovis

“BRAVO MAYOR DAVID! HERE is a list of other smelly or offensive activities that should be banned from public access:
• Picking one’s nose;
• Shaving either face or legs;
• Yelling at football touchdowns on TV monitors;
• Dropping punch-out holes on floors;
• Removing shoes and socks during hot days;
• Cutting toenails anytime;
• Cursing;
• Telling dumb jokes out loud;
• Making long speeches at city commission meetings;
• Telling lies.
Actually, some of these used to be banned … Ahh, the good old days.”
— Carolyn Spence, Clovis

“I THINK THAT’S JUST fine. This has been in the works for a long time and I for one enjoy going to a restaurant and eating a meal without smelling someone’s smoke. Besides I think if you ask the restaurants that have already gone smoke free they will most likely tell you that it didn’t hurt the business.”
— Steve Gershon, Clovis
“I APPLAUD MAYOR LANSFORD’S (efforts). Even when I smoked (eight years ago) I didn’t smoke where the non-smokers could be offended by my smoke. I have asthma now and when I come out of a store door to the outside, the smoke bothers me. When I am eating and someone in the building is smoking, I have a problem continuing my meal. I am glad something is being done about the public-access buildings in Clovis.”
— Ardyth Elms, Clovis

“I THINK IF THEY’RE going to ban smoking, then they should also ban cowing. The stench in the air created by cow manure is probably much more toxic than cigarette smoke. Some have said the toxicity from the stench in the air causes asthma and other related illnesses, as can second-hand smoke. Seems to me that Lansford wants to jump on a bandwagon and use smokers as a scapegoat.”
— Gina Hochhalter, Clovis

“I BELIEVE IN RIGHTS for all individuals — smokers and non-smokers alike. For that reason, I believe the mayor is on the right track. I choose not to inhale second-hand smoke from anyone. Why should I be subjected to something I am within my rights not to have to put up with just because a few want to smoke? I don’t think courteous smokers will have any objections to protecting my rights as well.”
— Jim Sitterly, Clovis

“I OWN A BUSINESS and I do not want someone telling me how to run my business. Would the mayor want someone to tell him he can’t sell aspirin in his store because it can be bad for certain people?
“I am strongly against having someone telling me what to sell, or whom I can have come into my business. I smoked for over 20 years. I quit, but I still go to places that allow smoking. The food still tastes good and if the smoke bothers me, I don’t have to go there anymore. MY CHOICE.”
— Dan Toledo, Clovis
“THE SMOKE IS LITERALLY unbearable at some Clovis restaurants and I welcome the change. However, I’m just one voice. I wish they would allow Clovis residents to vote on the issue prior to enactment.”
— Richard Lopes, Clovis
“PERFECT IDEA. I GET so tired of people smoking. They can step outside if they want to have lung cancer.”

— Angus C. Lam, Clovis

“I DON’T CARE. BUT don’t the mayor and city leaders have more important problems to deal with? We have been out of town most of the past two months. Have all the tough problems been solved during our absence?”
— Auggie Jones, Clovis

“I AM A SMOKER, but as far as I am concerned there is nothing worse than to try and eat a meal with people all around you smoking. So I think it would be a good idea. People can always go and sit outside to have there after-meal smoke and the rest of the people who are eating can enjoy their food.”
— Cecilia Carpenter, Clovis

“I FULLY SUPPORT THIS proposed policy. There have been numerous studies made on the effects of second-hand smoke. The bottom line is that second-hand smoke is harmful to everyone who inhales it, with some persons such as infants and elderly, or those with respiratory illnesses, being more at risk.
“While America is built on individual freedoms, here is one area where I firmly believe all governments (local, state and federal) should take the initiative and ban smoking in all places where they have jurisdiction.
“Persons who wish to smoke can still do so, but only in designated places. My home is a ‘no-smoking home’ and all my guests are well aware of this. If they wish to smoke while visiting, they simply step outside onto the patio to do so. They are happy, and I and my family remain healthy.”
— Bob Baker, Clovis

“SMOKING IN ALL PUBLIC places should be banned. People have a right to smoke. But they do not have the right to contaminate my breathing space.”
— Denver Jones, Clovis

“I THINK (THE MAYOR) has a great idea. They already are doing it in Albuquerque and Roswell and it looks like it’s spreading for the betterment of the people. Second-hand smoke can kill just as if you smoked a cigarette yourself. Why support the tobacco companies with something that kills more Americans on a yearly basis than anything else?”
— Gerald Majewski, Clovis

“SMOKERS ARE PEOPLE TOO and should not be treated as second-class citizens. Take a close look at how heavily smokers are taxed. Maybe if all smokers quit, this tax burden should be applied to cell-phone users because deaths are also caused by driving and cell-phone usage. The mayor should outlaw talking in public buildings because that is very annoying to others. Where does it stop?”
— John Frey, Clovis

“I’VE BEEN A SMOKER most of my adult life but I’m not proud of it. I have always gone out of my way to respect the wishes of non-smokers, but it never seems to be enough. The government, local and federal, is doing its best to make us healthy, but where does it draw the line on American rights? Next thing you know they will be telling us what we can and cannot wear in public.
“We see signs on businesses that say this is a smoke-free building. That’s fine with me. A private business owner should also have the right, if he so chooses, to put a sign up that says this building is not smoke free, and then let the public decide whether to enter or not. If it hurts his business enough, I’m sure he will change. But that should be his choice, not the government’s. Isn’t this what the United States is founded on? To all you non-smokers, what about my rights?”
— Michael Williams, Clovis
“GREAT IDEA! IT WILL help protect the lungs of non-smokers and give the abused lungs and bodies of the smokers a short respite while they are in the public buildings!”
— Glenda R. Horner, Clovis

“YES, I KNOW THAT smoking or second-hand smoke is injurious to one’s health. I smoked for at least 50 years and many, many people breathed my second-hand smoke. Now I am being asked to go along with Mayor Lansford and support a ban on smoking in public places. With guilty feelings, I go along with the honorable Mayor Lansford.”
— Mac McDonald, Clovis

“VOILA MAYOR LANSFORD! THE smokers rail that public-place non-smoking regulations violate their rights. However, they neglect to consider the rights of non-smokers. Furthermore, does not one enter a restaurant to dine? I have waited, standing, in restaurants for as long as 30 minutes to be seated, while one or more patrons, having finished their meals, sat and visited — and smoked. The smoker should do his recreational habit before he enters the restaurant and after he/she leaves it, which should be as soon as their meals are finished.”
— Harold Burris, Clovis

“I SUPPORT THE BAN of smoking in public places, because of the scientific fact that second-hand smoke has been proven to adversely affect the well-being and health of all persons being exposed to it.”
— Harold Gongaware, Clovis