secretly over the weekend the Carrboro aldermen and alderwomen decided
to show their driving desire to improve the health of the Carrboro
community announcing a ban on smoking in the town.
"The no smoking
in the restaurants has worked so well we have decided to extend
the law to cover the whole town!' explained one of the alderpersons.
"There have been many studies released that confirm the dangers
of second hand smoke and I don't believe that there has ever been
a distinction between second hand smoke inside a building or second
hand smoke outside a building! Therefore we have banned smoking
inside and outside. The law takes place retroactively to June 21,
so if you know of anyone that was smoking outside between then and
now, please let us know. There may be a small fine, but we are also
examining the possibility of a blanket amnesty for all who broke
Incredibly, the law also covers smoking inside of private homes.
"Secondhand smoke is secondhand smoke, whether it's in a private
home or a public rest room. We cannot be in every residents home
checking to see if they are exposing anyone to second hand smoke,
so our only option to protect Carborroites was to ban smoking all
When questioned by The
Carrboro News as to why this decision was made so quickly, the
alderwoman replied, "There was a little known report released
last week, which documented the affects of first and secondhand
smoke on a person and the results were devastating and the chances
of contracting cancer were multiplied tenfold. As a growing town,
we can't afford to lose our citizens at that rate, much less their
Oddly enough, there was
some debate over whether or not they would ultimately pass the law.
"We know we want to keep our citizens healthy, but we also
run the risk of alienating future voters. We knew that we ran the
risk of losing the 12-17 year old smokers votes when they came of
age, and that is a formidable voting block. In the end we decided
to pass the law anonymously so that we'd all lose the votes, but
as long as a pro-smoking candidate doesn't appear in the future,
we should be ok".
When The Carrboro News
pointed out that the new signs seem to refer to cigarettes and asked
if cigars and pipes were also covered by the ban, the alderman looked
puzzled and confused. "You know we never discussed that. But
not banning them could cause an increase in cigar and pipe smoking,
so I think we'd better get working on the first amendment."
In case our readers are
wondering- Yes, Carrboro is the first in the United States to implement
a total ban on smoking, but not the first in the world. There is
a small town in Southern Greece called Karpuzi, which initiated
a full ban on smoking in 1986 in an ill-fated attempt to prime the
local economy by getting people to eat more food. The per capita
consumption of chewing gum went up 140%, but the consumption of
food stayed the same and the economy is still struggling to get
on it's feet.