Divided Opinions on Smoking Ban - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Divided Opinions on Smoking Ban

Ken Cargle, Breathe Easy Amarillo Ken Cargle, Breathe Easy Amarillo
Scott Camarada, Speak Out Amarillo Scott Camarada, Speak Out Amarillo

To smoke or not to smoke...that's not the question. The bigger issue at hand appears to be personal rights...whose are more important...your own or everyone else's around you?

The smoking ban ordinance is twelve pages long, but not everyone reads it the same. Ken Cargle is the chairman for Breathe Easy Amarillo. He's in favor of the smoking ban and says it's a health issue. Scott Camarada, however, is chairman for Speak Out Amarillo and thinks the bigger issue is about personal rights. If you'll recall, amarillo residents voted against a smoking ban just three years ago. So, the obvious question is...what makes proponents of the ordinance think it will pass now, as opposed to three years ago.

Cargle says the restrictions have been loosened a little bit. Three years ago, it said you couldn't smoke within 25 feet of a public establishment's door - now, it's 10 feet. The old ordinance outlawed smoking on patio areas, whereas this one leaves the patio areas to the discretion of the individual establishment.

Regardless of the new changes, Camarada says passing this would be like giving the government an inch and them taking a mile. He says "a little here, a little there, a little more here, and pretty soon the government doesn't leave a choice about anything." The vote three years ago was a close one...30-thousand people voted and it failed by just under 600 votes.


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