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Smoking Bans


I think we can all safely agree that smoking is dangerous to one’s health.  Besides that, it smells bad, is unattractive, and is generally annoying.  I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life and don’t particularly care to be around people when they are smoking.   That being said, I hate the anti-smoking nazis even more than I hate smoking itself.

The ASNs, as I shall henceforth refer to them, have managed to get smoking bans of all different degrees passed in various communities throughout the country.  Their argument is that it’s for the common good for our government to forcibly cause businesses, both big and small, to enact smoking bans so that employees and patrons alike don’t become sick because of direct or second-hand smoke.

My question is, if the ASNs are so against smoking, why don’t they just follow the temperance crowd from the early 1900s and just completely ban smoking, or better yet, tobacco products of all kinds?  Wouldn’t that strike at the heart of the problem?

Well, you see, there’s a problem with that line of thinking.  The government on all levels is also addicted to tobacco, not in the physical sense, but in the monetary sense.  They are so reliant on heavy taxes levied against tobacco products that they would no more ban smoking than they would cut off their own arm or leg.  It’s one of those comfy little “paradoxes” that our government just seems to get entangled in.

But that’s just one problem…The other is laziness.  ASNs argue that they should be able to go into a restaurant without breathing in other people’s secondhand smoke.  While I agree that no one should be forced to breathe secondhand smoke, this is rarely the case.  There are several reasons why I believe smoking should be allowed in private establishments…

One is that an owner of a private restaurant, bar, etc., should be legally allowed to determine whether or not their own establishment should allow smoking.  Adults sometimes do stupid things.  Smoking is one of them.  That doesn’t mean that we as citizens need to be monitored like little children and kept from self-harm at all times.

Secondly, workers who do not wish to be subjected to secondhand smoke can exercise their freedom to work elsewhere.  I know some of you out there, when reading this one, will no doubt feel that I’m just an unfeeling, hatemongering conservative.  To you, I say “Bite me!”.  Anyone who knows me very well at all, knows that’s not the case.  Anyway, despite the rising unemployment rate, if you feel strongly enough about not being around secondhand smoke, you still have the freedom to seek other employment.  No one is forcing you to work in that environment.

The worst argument, in my opinion, is that the average person should just be able to go into a restaurant and not have to breathe in someone else’s noxious fumes.  This is where the laziness comes in.  It’s rather easy in these times to either go to an establishment’s web site or, God forbid, call them and ask if they allow smoking.  If they allow it, you don’t go.  Period.  End of story.  If they don’t allow it, you can thank them and then proceed to their nearest location for a fine dining experience.  Since when are we so lazy that we will knowingly subject ourselves to something that we knew was allowed in a particular place?  There are always other options out there for those that don’t want to give their business to restaurants that allow smoking and, you know what, if there isn’t an acceptable alternative for you, then how about resorting to that good old American standard of a home cooked meal?  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you can still buy food at your local grocery store and actually fashion it into a real meal.

I’m all for owners voluntarily making their establishments non-smoking.  I would love it if that were the case.  However, I’d rather have to be inconvenienced by putting up with a small bit of secondhand smoke, finding another restaraunt, or God forbid, staying home and having a quiet meal with the family.



One Response

  1. […] Caution: This is NOT an anti-smoking rant! If you want to suck on a cancer stick, feel free to do so as long as you’re not blowing noxious fumes into my face or personal space, property, etc. I’m also not for banning smoking in every public space. You can read my views on that issue here. […]

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