Fayetteville Group Lobbies To Ban Smoking In Workplaces

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - A local grassroots group is looking to make all workplaces in Fayetteville smoke free.

Jamie Thornton is a volunteer with Smoke Free Fayetteville. He said all residents of Fayetteville deserve to breathe clean air.

"Fayetteville is such an awesome community, we think by doing this it would only make it better, it would enhance the value of Dickson street, you wouldn't have to go home and take a shower immediately from coming home from the bars at 2 a.mm, or you wouldn't have to change your sheets the next day, and it's just better for the overall health of the citizens," Thorton said.

He said cities across the nation have smoking bans, and said it's time for Fayetteville to do the same.

"We'd love to see things happen and have Fayetteville go 100% smoke free indoors if possible, I mean if New Orleans can do it why not Fayetteville?"
Thornton said.

A smoking ban for the city was brought up last in 2011, when Alderwoman Adella Gray sponsored a proposal that would ban smoking in all bars and nightclubs. The measure failed by one vote.

Vern Gunderson works on Dickson Street at a bar that allows smoking. He said banning smoking would create a disadvantage for some businesses.

"I think there would be a negative effect for bars that don't have patios or can't accommodate people that smoke, so if you take smoking away from these bars that have no patios, no front lobbies, no anything it's really going to hurt their business," Gunderson said.

Supporters of Smoke Free Fayetteville said their concern is with the employees who are surrounded by second-hand smoke. Gunderson said you can always choose to work somewhere else.

"We know what it does to our health, and we're well aware of that, otherwise we would go work at a bar that doesn't have smoking or we would pick up another profession," Gunderson said.

The group said they will continue to build up followers before approaching the city for a permanent solution.

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