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|Tombstone blows smoke at state law|
|Written by Kevin Nadakal|
|Tuesday, 01 May 2012 04:07|
The Smoke-Free Arizona Act, which was signed into law in 2007, prohibits smoking in most enclosed places and places of employment. Under the ordinance smoking is also prohibited within 20 feet of all business entrances, open windows or ventilation systems.
Though the law has been in effect for five years, Tombstone has not fully complied.
Exceptions to the law include private residences, retail tobacco stores, veteran or fraternal clubs and outdoor patios.
“The dilemma is always going to be people walking on a public sidewalk,” said City Clerk and City Manager George Barnes, “You are not disallowed from smoking on a public sidewalk. It’s almost impossible to smoke in any downtown area or to smoke on a public sidewalk and not be within at least 20 feet of some door.”
Cigarette butts and ashtrays are found up and down Allen Street. Tombstone citizens and tourists can also be seen lighting up cigarettes, cigars and pipes and there is virtually no enforcement of the smoking ban.
“I have never seen any enforcement from the Marshals,” said Kyle Truhill, a Helldorado Town employee. “The most I have seen is right outside of the magistrate court. It would take a lot more man power and tax payer money to stop that than I think it’s worth.”
Truhill said that the only time he saw any enforcement is when someone went into the magistrate court smoking and they were asked to leave.
The Marshal’s Office could not be reached for comment after several attempts to reach them.
Richard Wilson, the owner of Smoke Signals, said it’s pretty easy to understand why the state ordinance doesn’t and shouldn’t apply to the town of Tombstone.
“It’s not an enforceable thing here, the doors are too close together,” Wilson said. “If you go 20 feet away from the door you would be standing in the middle of the street and you would get ran over by one of these stage coaches.”