June 30, 2006

Smoking Al-Fresco

Unless you are 15 feet away from a business entrance, or on a patio--or one of the exempted areas in the legislation, it will now be a crime to smoke in public.

Of course, the actual threat of second-hand smoking notwithstanding, the real thrust of the legislation is more nanny-state control over our lives, now dictating where one might smoke legally. Rather than leaving that choice to individual business owners best suited to take into consideration their patrons and their own employees' concerns, the state has decided to determine the outcome for them. How nice.

But you can still drink, although that was also once the target of a campaign that led to the most well-intentioned and least effective government program ever: Prohibition. The arguments were essentially the same. The government saving you from yourself.

Still, at the end of the day, I fear the immediate impact (no pun intended) of the drunk/intoxicated driver instead of the remote and tenuous possibility that second-hand smoke might affect my health in, oh, 5o years. I'll take the chance frequenting places that offer smoking, now essentially reduced to casinos, while lighting up a great cigar the half-dozen times a year the feeling strikes me. Don't misunderstand, I support alcohol freedom, including the push for legalization at 18. Just don't tell me or private enterprise where to smoke or socialize with those who do. What's next, no smoking at home?


Anonymous Filter said...

I definitely don't live in the same country as you, and smoking is still legal in public. But I have to say, I wish it was made illegal here. Instead of banning alcohol in public places. Now that is stupid. We can't sit on the beach and enjoy a glass of wine without getting fined.

It annoys the hell out of me when I'm waiting at a bus stop on a perfect sunny day and some jerk lights up next to me. If people want to kill their own lungs, by all means go ahead. Just don't force me to breathe in their fumes when I'm standing in common ground.

It's not about government control. Children walk in public places. Non-smokers: people who actively chose not to infest their lungs with acrid chemicals, walk in public places. Smoke all they want, but they just shouldn't be allowed to blow it in other people's faces.

Sun Jul 02, 09:02:00 PM  

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