Smokers in Spokane are running out of options, and quickly. The Spokane Transit Authority recently took away the only designated smoking area at the STA Plaza, leaving bus-riding smokers with hardly any options. And now they could really pay for that. The Spokane City Council has given the go-ahead to police to write smokers tickets if they are not abiding by the Washington State law that prohibits smokers from lighting up within 25 feet of building entrances. Those tickets will cost violators $50 a pop after a warning.

Businesses and their owners in the downtown area are not pleased with the elimination of the designated smoking spot, as it has caused smokers to migrate to their neck of the woods. They’ve taken shooing off smokers into their own hands by playing opera music and hiring security, among other things. But with the new ticket system, they may be able to eliminate those practices.

Obviously, some smokers feel discriminated against. But non-smokers are usually not apt to sympathizing with them, as secondhand smoke is neither pleasant nor healthy. With the removal of designated outdoor smoking areas, do you believe that the new $50 ticketing system will be beneficial to the community, or that lawmakers are overstepping their responsibilities?

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