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A gray area

Street Smarts

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Smoke gets in your eyes, and nose and mouth and lungs. Whether it’s from tobacco or marijuana, cigars or wildfires, most would agree that inhaling smoke could be harmful. But it’s a smudgy line between smokers’ and nonsmokers’ rights.

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Geep Donovan from Dallas, Texas is an entrepreneur

Do you think smoking restrictions have become too strict? Well, I'm not sure. I don't smoke, and I don't like to be around it. I have neighbors about 50 yards away; they smoke outside in the evening, and I can smell it. I don't really enjoy that.

Do you think apartment owners have the right to make the entire property smoke-free? Yes, and not just because it's a fire hazard. Apartments need a lot more cleaning after a smoker moves out. The carpet, the drapes, even the paint absorbs it.

Which is more of a taboo in today's society: smoking tobacco or marijuana? My impression is that smoking pot is more acceptable these days, but I think it's just as dangerous to your health as smoking tobacco.

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Carmin Austin of the west side works in retail

Do you think that smokers should be allowed to smoke anywhere outside? As long as you're not smoking near a school. I think the harmful effects of secondhand smoke are diffused if it's outside, but I don't believe in harming anyone else's health.

Do you believe the research that breathing secondhand smoke is dangerous? Yes. I can't see that it would be any healthier than first-hand smoke. And even though I'm a smoker, I don't like to breathe secondhand smoke.

What if you lived in an apartment building and it went smoke-free? Well, I do want to quit someday but I don't want to be forced into it.

As a smoker, have you ever felt discriminated against? Yes, even if it's outside, I've had people give me dirty looks, and pretend to cough. It's very passive-aggressive.

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Gio Ordaz from Fountain is in the military

Do you believe in smokers' rights? Sure, but I think they should smoke outside.

Do you think smokers are discriminated against? Yes, but with good reason. Smokers are aware of the health dangers. It's a choice.

So, does a landlord have the right to prohibit smoking inside and out? Yes, it's the owner's option. And we have the choice whether to live there or not.

Do you think there's more of a taboo against smoking tobacco or marijuana? I think it's still more against marijuana. But it will probably be legalized before too long.

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