Smoking ban debate is inherently flawed
PUBLISHED in the Denver Post, 8/21/07
re "Ruling should clear up conflicts on smoking ban" (Denver Post editorial, 8/19/07)
The fundamental problem around the smoking ban debate is demonstrated unwittingly in your editorial on the subject. You say that the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act bans smoking “in most indoor public places”. But a restaurant, bar, or casino is no more a “public” place than is my office or even my home. They are private properties, the owners of which should have the right to permit or prohibit any legal activity as they decide best suits their business strategy, their personal moral code, or any other basis upon which they make such decisions.
Secondly, you mention “involuntary exposure” to secondhand smoke, by which I presume you mean someone who goes to a restaurant or bar and breathes in smoke from another patron’s cigarette. But such exposure pushes the limits of the word “involuntary” since nobody has forced the person into the restaurant or bar at gunpoint, and certainly nobody is keeping him there once he learns that there may be smoke present.
As someone who despises smoking, I am pleased with the effect of the smoking ban, but I oppose it nonetheless. Private property rights are more important than the wishes of a bunch of do-gooders, even if they are a majority. What’s next, government banning trans-fats? Naah, Big Nanny would never go that far, would they?
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