It's spring and the weather is perfect for a nice long walk around downtown Asheville. I love walking down the sidewalk on Broadway, seeing the trees in bloom and breathing in the sweet mountain air … blech, cough cough! Oh wait, what do you know? Another rude person standing and smoking on the sidewalk, ruining everybody's air and endangering everyone's health all because they're having a nic-fit.
The recent legislation banning smoking in restaurants is another example of completely impotent lawmaking. Nobody in Asheville smoked in restaurants anyway, or at least in the good restaurants. Every time I am sitting outside at [some local restaurants], or even inside at [some others], I am accosted by the poisonous exhalations from some smoker who can even be as far as 5 to 10 feet outside of the restaurant's exterior. Cigarette smoke is pervasive, repulsive and a conclusive source of cancer-causing carcinogens. Whenever a nonsmoker, someone who has made a conscious decision to protect their health, walks downtown or tries to eat outside at one of the many wonderful downtown restaurants, their lifestyle and very life is assaulted by the wanton, careless and destructive decision of smokers to smoke in public.
I think the recent antismoking bill should be amended to classify secondhand smoke as a form of assault. And in this criminalization of secondhand smoke, I think that nonsmokers should be granted certain liberties for the purpose of defending themselves against continued secondhand inhalation.
— Chris Burgher