Now my county is joining the ranks of those considering smoking bans. I am so over it. First of all, I am not a smoker. I grew up with asthma and my kids have respiratory issues a couple of times a year, so I am not a fan of smoking. However, I do not believe this is something that should be legislated.
I am a big supporter of letting the free market decide these things. If a restaurant chooses to allow smoking and the place is, therefore, overly smoky, then perhaps non smoking patrons will decide to eat elsewhere. If business suffers the restaurant owner then has two choices, either close up shop or ban smoking in his establishment. The free market will have spoken. However, if a bar is dictated it must ban smoking then many times folks just decide to stay home and these establishments suffer through no fault of their own.
Proponents of smoking bans quite often site poor working conditions as a reason to ban smoking. Dianne Wilson, with the S.C. Chapter of African American Tobacco Control stated at a meeting in my county last night, “All workers have the right to work in a smoke-free environment. My heart goes out (to those who work in a smoking atmosphere); what they are breathing in, is toxic.”
Ok, two thoughts in regards to Wilson's statement: first of all, no one made these folks take jobs in a smoke filled environment. Harsh? Maybe. However it is true. Second: have you met most food and beverage employees? According to a study of full-time foodservice workers between 18 and 64 years old, 46.9 percent of males smoked cigarettes during the past month versus 42.7 percent of females. The study also found that cigarette use in the workplace declined by age. In the foodservice industry, 50.2 percent of full-time workers aged 18 to 25 smoked, compared with 48.6 percent of workers aged 26 to 34; 40.6 percent of employees aged 35 to 49; and 35.0 percent of workers aged 50 to 64. (Read more: http://www.nrn.com/breakingNews.aspx?id=373686#ixzz0nrJIQBrO)
So really that argument is pretty weak. Seriously? When did we become such a nanny state. This is just another one of those things that I strongly feel just does not need to be legislated. It is a slippery slope. The more laws we have governing our individual freedoms the more freedoms we lose, the more control over our daily lives we are giving up. This is not what this country is supposed to be about.
Smoking is bad for you, we all know that. There is debate about second hand smoke. It is probably something you want to limit your exposure to, understandable. However, do we really need to tell restaurant and bar owners how to run their businesses? Bottom line, smoking is not illegal and be careful how much power you give over to your government. Where will it end?