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News Summary

Smoking ban lingering

Publication Date: 6/27/2005
  • Author:SUSAN ROSNEBERRY
  • Publication:The Western Front (Western Washington University)
Whatcom residents gather signatures to prohibit smoking indoors

If voters approve Initiative 901 in November, smokers in Washington may have to fulfill their nicotine cravings outside because of a new law banning them from lighting up inside.

If the initiative passes, all of Washington's indoor establishments, including restaurants, bars and bowling alleys, will have to change their smoking policies to be strictly nonsmoking.

The law would also prohibit any smoking within 25 feet of doorways and ventilation openings of the establishments, unless the state's health department approves of shorter distances, said Dr. Chris Covert-Bowlds, the physician who sponsored the initiative and president of COMMIT for a Tobacco Free Whatcom County. The nonsmoking policy would also apply to public transportation such as taxis, he said.