CHESTER -- Chester County smokers might soon be forced to put down their cigarettes -- at least on county property.
Several Chester County Council members support banning smoking in county buildings, on ballfields and in vehicles. They plan to discuss the issue at Monday night's council meeting.
"When you come through the doors (of county buildings), butt cans at every door, who wants to smell the smoke?" asked County Councilman Tommy Martin, who proposed a smoking ban. "That's just not being exactly friendly to your customers when they come in."
Policy restricts smoking on county property to certain areas. But County Supervisor Carlisle Roddey said some are abusing that privilege, and he's received complaints about too much puffing.
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"A lot of people just can't tolerate smoke," he said.
Martin said the smoking outside the Chester County Courthouse has gotten so thick that people have complained to him about walking through it.
"I'm not against anybody smoking," he said. "It's a courtesy thing."
The proposed ban wouldn't affect private businesses. But it would include county-owned recreational sites.
"When you go to the playing fields," said County Councilman Alex Oliphant, "you have to walk through people smoking while your kids are playing soccer. And that's just not acceptable."
Oliphant said he doesn't know if a smoking ban will come out of Monday night's discussion, but he said he would support one.
"I'm not against smokers," he said. "I'm an ex-smoker. I'm an ex-everything ... The thing is, people have a right to smoke, and you can't do that when other people have to breathe your smoke."