As of 12:01 this morning, the nation's toughest anti-smoking laws took effect here in Washington. Under the new rules not only is smoking prohibited inside public buildings (anywhere in which someone is employed), but smokers are not allowed to light up outside within 25 feet of the doors either.
Why the 25-foot rule?
This clause is the vampire-like fangs on this toothy law. Take shopping malls for example. They've been smoke-free for a very long time. Most of them well over a decade. But whenever you left the mall, you'd walk head-first into a giant cloud of smoke. Why? Because all the smokers were congregating under the awning outside the doors. Now, thanks to this 25-foot rule, smokers can't do that. Sayonara toxic clouds!
Granted, there are areas like the historic Pioneer Square district in Seattle where there's a bar or storefront every thirty feet or so. Are smokers going to have to stand in the middle of the street to light up? Perhaps they'll have to go in the alley? My guess is we'll see them hang out in their cars a lot.
If I sound elated with this new law, it's because I am. Smokers have never minded being the reason so many people have to hang their clothes outside to "air out" after a night out, so I'm not going to miss their presence. That being said, it is kind of odd to witness what amounts to in my opinion as lawful, citizen-approved discrimination in a day and age when everyone is so overly sensitive to other people's feelings.
Oh welll... screw 'em! I've Febreezed my club clothes for the last time!