Ann Arbor, Mich. Smoking Ban Passes


Outdoor smoking will soon be subject to new laws in Ann Arbor, Mich. The City Council voted 9-2 in favor of a smoking last night. It will ban smoking within 10 feet of a bus stop and 20 feet of any windows, entrances or ventilation systems of city property. 

In addition, the new law will also give the city administrator the authority to designate other public lands as smoke-free. 

Violators will be subject to a $25 or community service. It is expected to go into effect in the coming days. 
Ann Arbor is located in southeastern Michigan. It is home to the University of Michigan and has a population just under 120,000. 

Comment by newsletter reader: 

It is fairly clear that a running automobile puts out at least as much pollution as 50 cigarettes in the same length of time. This can be safely said on the basis of a simple thought-garage-experiment.

Burning 150 cigarettes in a garage over the course of a half hour (i.e. 50 at a time for ten minutes each) is unlikely to do more than give people red eyes and perhaps some coughing. Running a car in that garage for a half hour would likely leave people dead. 

So if the concern driving this law is actually health concerns about secondary smoke getting into ventilation systems, then, in order to be consistent, the law should ban motor vehicle use at a distance 50 times as great as smoking a cigarette: i.e. no motor vehicles allowed within 10,000 feet (roughly two miles) of any windows, entrances, or ventilation intakes of any city property. 

Bus stop restrictions would be milder of course: the buses would be allowed to park at just 5,000 feet from the bus stop and the potential passengers could then safely and healthily enjoy the exercise of a quick jog over to the bus! 

The reduction of deaths from motor vehicle accidents will be a happy side-benefit, as will the reduction in greenhouse gases and American dependence on foreign oil as commuters switch to walking, jogging, and bicycling as preferred means of transportation. Ann Arbor can truly become a model city for the future! 

Michael J. McFadden 
Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”


Originally written By: Charlie Minato

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