The City of Charleston on Tuesday will consider creating a “tobacco free zone” around the Medical University of South Carolina and Roper Hospital.
If the ordinance is approved, smoking would be banned from all public spaces and sidewalks throughout the hospital district, covering about 10-square blocks.
Violators would face fines between $10 and $25 for every time they’re caught lighting up or even walking through, cigarette in-hand.
Smokers interviewed today said they didn’t like the idea, calling it another example of government overstepping its bounds to further regulate an activity that remains legal.
“This is public property, we have rights,” said MUSC sinus patient Isaac Baughman, 24, of Summerville, as he lit a cigarette on Ashley Avenue.
The ban would cover any form of lit tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars and pipes. Enforcement would be done primarily by MUSC’s Department of Public Safety and other hospital security.
The ban would not apply to people smoking in vehicles moving through the restricted area.
Read more in Saturday’s editions of The Post and Courier.