Banning Smoking Has Become a Controversial Topic - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/02/07

Banning Smoking Has Become a Controversial Topic

They're trying to clear the air in Beaufort County with a smoking ban, but not everyone's happy about it.

Anthony Moranelli is running out of places to smoke.

"See it's getting out of hand, it seems everybody has rights except for the smoker," he told us.

Moranelli has been smoking for 29 years. He started when he was 12 and he said he still gets the same feeling.

"Well, it relaxes me, especially when I get angry or I'm nervous, it helps calm me down a bit," he said.

Moranelli lives in Beaufort County and has been going to Golden Corral, one of his favorite restaurants, for more than ten years.

"Well I enjoy smoking after I get done eating," he said.

But now that the county council has passed a no-smoking ordinance for unincorporated Beaufort County, and several other communities like Beaufort and Hilton Head are considering bans, Moranelli fears his days for lighting up there are numbered.

"It's almost like we're in Russiam because they're telling us what we can and cannot do," said Moranelli.

Moranelli said he feels like his own personal rights have been taken away. "I thought we lived in a free nation, where we have freedoms. Everybody has freedom except for the smoker, smokers have no freedoms now."

But those like Burleigh Bozant, who can't tolerate the smoke, said keeping the smoke out public places is fine with him.

"Just don't like smoking, I don't want to smell nobody's smoke," said Bozant.

The smoking ban for unincorporated Beaufort County took effect today. The Beaufort City Council has the first reading of its proposed smoking ban next Tuesday.

Hilton Head is working on its proposed no-smoking ordinance and Bluffton has already passed its no-smoking ordinance.

Reported by: David Hall, dhall@wtoc.com

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