Smoker At 10 O'Clock



That's what it feels like to nonsmoking patrons at most local business entrances, today. This despite the May 1, 2007 Smoke-Free Arizona Act that specifically states, "Smoking is prohibited within 20 feet of any business entrance." The "Thank You For Not Smoking" signs posted on business entrances, this past year, were printed before the Final Smoke-Free Arizona Act Rules were announced.

Consequently, the important 20-foot rule is omitted from these signs. Indeed, most patrons believe these signs (many now faded from a year's exposure to the sun) warn that smoking is not allowed, beyond the business entrance.

The evidence is clear: each discarded cigarette butt, within 20 feet of a business entrance, is proof that a smoker carried a lighted cigarette/smoked a cigarette within 20 feet of a business entrance, a violation of the new act.

A random check of local businesses, last fall, showed that only the Payson Public Library had a prominent sign posted at their entrance warning that smoking was prohibited within 20 feet of the entrance.

Not surprisingly, no cigarette butts were found within 20 feet of the building's entrance. A follow-up check, earlier this month, showed only one other local business, ACE Hardware, now posting a sign on its entrance door warning of the 20-foot within the entrance/exit smoking prohibition. The Payson Wal-Mart Store joined the others by prominently posting four "No Smoking Within 20 Feet of the Entrance/Exit" signs, two each, at their north and south entrances. Help clear the air by calling, 1-877-297-8677, and requesting the free "No Smoking Within 20 Feet of the Entrance/Exit" signs for your business' entrance/exit.

Louis T. Carabillo, Jr.

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