Tuesday, June 29, 2004

On the record - Smoker's rights

I was interviewed at Tully O'Reilly's tonight, by Sunshine DeWitt, the business and planning reporter for my local paper, about the impending statewide smoking ban due to take effect here in July. For myself, I just quit four months ago to the day, but I'm still squarely against the ban.

The smoking ban is just another aspect of the war on some drugs and some lifestyles. In the end the issue is personal sovereignty. I thought Republicans were supposed to be for small government; this is nanny-state at its worst. As I told her, this should be a market driven decision. The patrons vote with their dollars. No one is forced to spend money in a place that allows smoking, nor are they compelled to seek employment in an establishment that does. It should be up to the owner to decide policy in his own building.

Smokers are becoming a minority but they are citizens too and should not be legislated out of a hospitable commercial environment. The government should not be concerned with what we put in our own bodies, or how we run our own business, as long as it doesn't impinge on the well-being of others.

As Norman Solomon says, fascism will not arrive all at once, it will come in increments. I think this invasive legislation is just one more baby step in that direction.


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