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Carrboro Goes Smoke-Free!

Meeting 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 the law."

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 together!"

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 votes!"

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.

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