Posted by: al66888 | August 29, 2007

Care to Debate: Smoking Ban- Great Legislation or Assault on Civil Liberties?

Bo wrote a piece the other day about Smokers Losing Liberties, I recommend you click on the link and check it out. So, I’m reading Bo’s post, and like any good post, it got me thinking. I live outside of the Philadelphia area, and we have had a smoking ban, so this is nothing new to me. But here’s the kicker, and I’ll admit it…….I LOVE THE SMOKING BAN! There, I said it, I love it, I’ll admit it. I love the fact that I can go into a bar and breathe, that when I leave my clothes don’t stink, and that when you take a shower you don’t actually smell the smoke coming out of your skin and hair.

Bo brings up some good points on how you could chose to go to a non smoking restaraunt if you had a family, and I agree. However, since you need to be 21 to get into the bar, there is no “family” patronage that would have you consider a non-smoking establishment.  The Pros: 

  • Clean air, easy breathing
  • There is the whole 2nd hand smoke argument, but I’m not sure how much weight that holds
  • Doesn’t destroy clothes or skin
  • Becomes family friendly for those with children
  • You don’t have to put up with the nuisance

But there are the Cons:
Every time legislation like this starts, it becomes a stepping stone to further legislation. Think about your seatbelt, which I think very few would argue is a bad idea to wear. However, isn’t that your choice to wear it. If you can remember when the whole ‘buckle up’ campaign started it was just to get the word out. Then it became where if you were pulled over police would tell you to put on your belt. Then it became a ticket, but only if pulled over for another offense. Now, it’s simply a ticket. With smoking it started with banning it from the bars/restaurants, then it moved to public places, and now they is even legislation to ban it in your own car and home if you have children. It’s a progression- its trans fat today, its the dessert menu at your favorite restaurant tomorrow.

Here’s my theory on legislation- if it effects people outside of yourself then itcan be legislated IE the smoke in the bar.  But if it only effects you IE smoking at home, eating foods with trans fat, then that’s YOUR decision. You know those foods, cigarettes, etc are bad for you- but its YOUR choice if you want that Big Mac or lunch-break smoke.

So is the smoking ban great legislation or an assault on yet another civil liberty?


  1. Al,

    You bring up some good points about the smoking ban and as I mentioned in my post, I too cannot stand breathing in smoke while I’m eating, etc…

    However, to me this is more than just the actual smoke issue, it’s about these activists who continue to find ways to spread their beliefs and power throughout our communities. These type of people like to spread fear instead of truth. These people want you to give up your SUV. These activists want to eliminate dodge ball from schools because it might hurt. And these are the same kind of activists who want to stop schools from giving 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place trophies to kids who excel in sports, they want everyone to have a trophy and eliminate any competition…

    So in the end, this is another step to squash out any differential views for the ultimate goal to further Sissify our country…

    Again, I do not care for smoke as much as the next non-smoker, but it’s the bigger picture we should look at…


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