The adventures of Mommy woman

A conversation I had with a friend on Facebook inspired me to write about this subject.  He had joined a movement urging the state of Michigan to ban smoking in businesses including bars and restaurants.  I for one would be ecstatic if everyone stopped smoking altogether but I don't think the government should have that power over businesses.

First of all, smoking is legal.  Why should the government be able to tell a business owner that they can't have something legal occurring in their establishment?  I told my friend this is a very slippery slope.  He agreed but said that it is one we need to approach.  So what's next?  Will businesses that serve alcohol be required to obtain a person's car keys or give proof of an alternative mode of transportation before serving them alcohol? 

This is already happening in some states but I think this is certainly not the time for Michigan to give it a whirl.  Our economy is about the worst out there.  If bars were no longer able to allow their patrons to smoke, I suspect a whole lot more people would be going to Canada, Ohio or elsewhere out of state for their business or they'll just stay at home and drink and smoke.  The other outcome would be the bars would ignore the new restriction, get hit with a fine and end up out of business.

I say if smoking is legal it should be up to the business owner as to whether or not to allow it.  If they want to exclude the smokers, that's their right but if they need the smokers or even want them, why shouldn't they if it is a legal activity?  Anyone who has a problem with smoke need not visit the establishment.

I'll be interested to hear others opinions on the subject.


Comments (Page 1)
on Feb 17, 2009

There is a similar smoking ban in Ohio, so they won't be coming here.    

"Secondhand smoke is classified as a "known human carcinogen" (cancer-causing agent) by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US National Toxicology Program, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization."-- http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_10_2X_Secondhand_Smoke-Clean_Indoor_Air.asp

It's like saying the gov shouldn't get involved with coal miners using respirators.  Coal dust isn't illegal, and coal mining businesses shouldn't be required to moderate the risk to their employees by providing respirators.  Or, asbestos, lead paint etc.  Same argument.

I'm not a big fan of the government getting involved with private business.  But, I do believe when it comes to general public health and safety issues it is acceptable.  People have to work to live, I don't have a problem with having minimum standards of safety while they are there.

on Feb 17, 2009

It's like saying the gov shouldn't get involved with coal miners using respirators.

It is so not the same thing.  Coal mining is a specific business with specific risks.  Regulating something like that is like requiring hard hats on construction sites.  Smoking and drinking are excepted legal substance uses with known dangers.  People don't need to go to a bar or restaurant.  Those are wants not needs.  I know far too many people confuse the two.  You don't like a smoky bar or restaurant, go to a different one or stay at home.  The business owner should be able to decide on their own.  Maybe they should have the option of providing people with respirators.

I am aware that secondhand smoke is a known carcinogen.  Why are we not just making smoking in general illegal?  Why not charge people with child endangerment when they smoke around children since it's exposing them to known cancer-causing agents?

on Feb 17, 2009

I always go back and forth on this. On one hand I don't like the fact that the government is as you have put it interfering with a business that is trying to provide a public place where people can enjoy a legal substance. On the other hand I hate smoke more than anything in a bar/restaurant and I will tell you I have breathed alot easier ever since they put that smoking ban in IL.

As to why we still keep cigs legal... well there are probably several reasons for that

1. We have a hard time keeping currently banned substances off the streets

2. Lobbyists in congress would probably stop any action for a nationwide bad

3. No one, especailly right now, would want to endanger American jobs

4. Too many programs (including kids health insurance) are run off of the tax revenue that cigs produce.

 

on Feb 18, 2009

Tova7
There is a similar smoking ban in Ohio, so they won't be coming here.    

"Secondhand smoke is classified as a "known human carcinogen" (cancer-causing agent) by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US National Toxicology Program, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization."-- http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_10_2X_Secondhand_Smoke-Clean_Indoor_Air.asp

It's like saying the gov shouldn't get involved with coal miners using respirators.  Coal dust isn't illegal, and coal mining businesses shouldn't be required to moderate the risk to their employees by providing respirators.  Or, asbestos, lead paint etc.  Same argument.

I'm not a big fan of the government getting involved with private business.  But, I do believe when it comes to general public health and safety issues it is acceptable.  People have to work to live, I don't have a problem with having minimum standards of safety while they are there.

 

O yeah? so where does it stop? When is junk food gonna be bad...afterall... you know that is cause for people getting fat which leads to other complications.

 

You guys opened the door better buy your cheetos.

 

the funny thing is... all this taxes and stuff on smoking.... what happens when that money dries up? yeah you do realize alot of budgets use that money... and once its gone... they will find something else and tax the poo out of that "for the better good and health of the US citizen."

on Feb 18, 2009

Government should certainly have the power to regulate safety. And smokers are not a weird group of people somehow exempt from the general "don't harm others without their consent" principle.

Government also has the power to regulate behaviour in public places and businesses, that's one reason why so many people wear pants when travelling in public transport.

Businesses that are open to customers are subject to both behaviour and safety regulations. It's very simple, isn't it?

 

on Feb 18, 2009

O yeah? so where does it stop? When is junk food gonna be bad...afterall... you know that is cause for people getting fat which leads to other complications.

I have never ever grown fatter because somebody else sat next to me and ate unhealthy food.

 

on Feb 18, 2009

It is so not the same thing.  Coal mining is a specific business with specific risks. 

So is office work.

But there are some risks that can be added to any business that are not required for the business to work. Smoking in the office is a risk that is added artifically and is entirely not essential for the office to function.

 

Regulating something like that is like requiring hard hats on construction sites.  Smoking and drinking are excepted legal substance uses with known dangers.  People don't need to go to a bar or restaurant.  Those are wants not needs. 

People don't need to go to a shooting range either, yet it is illegal to shoot at people and cause them harm there.

Smokers don't need to smoke in restaurants and bars. It works both ways.

 

I know far too many people confuse the two.  You don't like a smoky bar or restaurant, go to a different one or stay at home.  The business owner should be able to decide on their own.  Maybe they should have the option of providing people with respirators.

You are still assuming that smokers have some sort of right to harm others and that people deciding to stand next to them somehow agree to being harmed. I assure you that that is not the case.

 

I am aware that secondhand smoke is a known carcinogen.  Why are we not just making smoking in general illegal? 

If a smoker smokes in his own house or outside where he affects noone to a worrisome degree, there is no reason to force him to change his behaviour. I think smoking should be legal like shooting a gun should be legal. And I think smoking next to other people should be illegal like shooting another person should be illegal.

 

Why not charge people with child endangerment when they smoke around children since it's exposing them to known cancer-causing agents?

That is not already done?

on Feb 18, 2009

Leauki


O yeah? so where does it stop? When is junk food gonna be bad...afterall... you know that is cause for people getting fat which leads to other complications.



I have never ever grown fatter because somebody else sat next to me and ate unhealthy food.

 

 

yeah but you opened the door.

 

Hopw about booze. Want to play hard ball.... how many people get killed because of drunk driving? that has a secondary affect too. How about we ban booze? After all why should I lose my life or someone else because someone decided to drink?

 

I know I know I dont have to drive and can avoid that. Well the same can be said about smoking.... no one makes you sit next to that person do they?

on Feb 18, 2009

Leauki


It is so not the same thing.  Coal mining is a specific business with specific risks. 



So is office work.

But there are some risks that can be added to any business that are not required for the business to work. Smoking in the office is a risk that is added artifically and is entirely not essential for the office to function.

 



Regulating something like that is like requiring hard hats on construction sites.  Smoking and drinking are excepted legal substance uses with known dangers.  People don't need to go to a bar or restaurant.  Those are wants not needs. 



People don't need to go to a shooting range either, yet it is illegal to shoot at people and cause them harm there.

Smokers don't need to smoke in restaurants and bars. It works both ways.

 



I know far too many people confuse the two.  You don't like a smoky bar or restaurant, go to a different one or stay at home.  The business owner should be able to decide on their own.  Maybe they should have the option of providing people with respirators.



You are still assuming that smokers have some sort of right to harm others and that people deciding to stand next to them somehow agree to being harmed. I assure you that that is not the case.

 



I am aware that secondhand smoke is a known carcinogen.  Why are we not just making smoking in general illegal? 



If a smoker smokes in his own house or outside where he affects noone to a worrisome degree, there is no reason to force him to change his behaviour. I think smoking should be legal like shooting a gun should be legal. And I think smoking next to other people should be illegal like shooting another person should be illegal.

 



Why not charge people with child endangerment when they smoke around children since it's exposing them to known cancer-causing agents?



That is not already done?

 

And here is where you fail. they are already banning smoking everywhere. Heck private buesnesses cant even make their won rules. If a bar wants to allow smoking so be it. Why do the gov have to say no to it? people that are bothered by smoking are not forced to patron those said bars.

 

Now Look I will admit that public ran gov areas cant have smoking bans. But once your in open air and not in a gov ran building then its fair game. Take away more of our rights. Its not illegal... but people that think the gov telling when we can or can not do that is legal ... that is where I draw the line

 

Plus your advoiding the big question... what will gov do when the money from cigs runs out? where are they going to get that money..you know full well that they are not going to cut that spending out

on Feb 18, 2009

And here is where you fail.

I openly disagree with you?

 

they are already banning smoking everywhere. Heck private buesnesses cant even make their won rules. If a bar wants to allow smoking so be it. Why do the gov have to say no to it? people that are bothered by smoking are not forced to patron those said bars.

And nobody will be forcing smokers to smoke in those same bars. So what's the problem? You are still thinking that it is OK to prohibit people from patronising whatever bar they want by allowing other people to harm them in those bars at will.

Why wouldn't government have a say in that?

 

Now Look I will admit that public ran gov areas cant have smoking bans. But once your in open air and not in a gov ran building then its fair game. Take away more of our rights. Its not illegal... but people that think the gov telling when we can or can not do that is legal ... that is where I draw the line

No, it's not fair game. There is no right to harm other people against their will. Smokers do NOT have such a privilege. Your entire argument is based on your assumption that everybody agrees that, for smokers, harming other people is OK. It is not and I refuse to compromise on that point.

 

Plus your advoiding the big question... what will gov do when the money from cigs runs out? where are they going to get that money..you know full well that they are not going to cut that spending out

I assume that the same money now spent on tobaco and tobaco taxes will eventually be spend on other products and those taxes. Are you assuming that smokers will simply burn their money if they don't spend it on tabaco taxes any more? They won't.

Their money will instead flow into other areas of the economy and all those areas are taxed. Once the resources now spent on producing cigarettes are invested into other, more productive, parts of the economy, the entire economy is likely to benefit.

But then nobody is saying that smoking should be illegal. I don't think government has (or should have) the power to make it illegal for people to do whatever they want to their own bodies.

It's when it affects other people against their will that I draw the line.

And my patronising a public house does NOT, repeat NOT, constitute my agreement that you or anybody else is allowed to harm me. Any argument based on the assumption that _I_, not the person intending to harm me, but _I_, can go elswewhere, ignores the basic issue; which is that you and I have the RIGHT not to be harmed by another person without our consent and that you and I do NOT have the right to harm another person without their consent.

I open no dorrs by insisting that I have a right not to be harmed, except in such a way that if we agree that I have such a right now, we might have to agree that I have such a right in future too.

You, on the other hand, by arguing that certain types of harm are legitimate because X (and I don't know what that X is), are opening the doors to allowing more types of harm. And I know you didn't even understand the problem by comparing it to eating junk food.

But as I said before, I am not harmed by sitting next to someone who eats unhealthy food. I am harmed, however, by sitting next to someone who smokes or shoots me.

He can eat what he wants, smoke what he wants if I don't have to breath the stuff, and shoot himself if he so chooses.

But he must not force me to eat what I don't want to eat, make me breath what the poison he decided I must endure, or shoot me.

 

 

on Feb 18, 2009

But then nobody is saying that smoking should be illegal. I don't think government has (or should have) the power to make it illegal for people to do whatever they want to their own bodies.
It's when it affects other people against their will that I draw the line.
And my patronising a public house does NOT, repeat NOT, constitute my agreement that you or anybody else is allowed to harm me.

Here's my problem with what you said here.  You pointed out that it shouldn't be illegal and people have the right to do with what they want with their own bodies.  Why then should someone be denied the ability to buy, own and run their own bar that allows smoking?  You said gong to a PUBLIC place doesn't constitute allowing others to do harm to you.  We're talking about the government being able to tell PRIVATE businesses what to do.  Maybe those businesses should be required to post a sign outside saying something to the affect of "Cigarette smoking allowed inside.  Sign waiver before entry" and require people to sign a legal waiver saying that they are aware that they are exposing themselves to a carcinogen.  If they don't agee with that, no entry.

on Feb 18, 2009

In case anyone thinks I am arguing this because I'm a smoker, I'm not, never have been and avoid smoke as much as I possibly can.  I don't go to smoky bars, bowling alleys, etc.  I don't allow people, including grandparents to smoke in our home or near our children.

I'm arguing for the rights of American people and business owners.  I'm arguing against handing our balls over to the government.  I often find it funny that a lot of the same people howling about how awful our government is are the same ones constantly trying to give them more control.

 

on Feb 18, 2009

Here's my problem with what you said here.  You pointed out that it shouldn't be illegal and people have the right to do with what they want with their own bodies.  Why then should someone be denied the ability to buy, own and run their own bar that allows smoking?  You said gong to a PUBLIC place doesn't constitute allowing others to do harm to you.  We're talking about the government being able to tell PRIVATE businesses what to do.  Maybe those businesses should be required to post a sign outside saying something to the affect of "Cigarette smoking allowed inside.  Sign waiver before entry" and require people to sign a legal waiver saying that they are aware that they are exposing themselves to a carcinogen.  If they don't agee with that, no entry.

A bar (here in Ireland called a "public house") is a public place, a place open to the public. Anyone can enter.

And we have laws against smoking in them. It is legal, however, to open a private club for smokers that allows only members.

I know we are talking about government being able to tell private businesses what to do. And you know what? I am in favour of that. I don't mind telling smokers not to smoke as much as mind telling non-smokers that they will have to allow others to harm them or not go to certain places.

I guarantee you that I don't want to be harmed against my will outside or inside a bar. Plus bars have employees too. And they deserve to work in a safe environment. You could say that they don't have to work in a bar if they don't want to be harmed. But then the same argument would apply to everything and then we'd be in a situation where half the population cannot work anywhere, because the other half insists on their right to harm them.

 

 

 

on Feb 18, 2009

In case anyone thinks I am arguing this because I'm a smoker, I'm not, never have been and avoid smoke as much as I possibly can.  I don't go to smoky bars, bowling alleys, etc.  I don't allow people, including grandparents to smoke in our home or near our children.

I knew you don't smoke. But you are still looking at this as if the basic assumption was that smokers have a right to harm people and that those who don't want to be harmed have to explain why smokers don't have such a right. I think it's the other way around.

 

I'm arguing for the rights of American people and business owners. 

You are arguing for the rights of those American people and business owners who believe that they have a right to harm others. You are certainly not arguing for my right not to be harmed.

If smoking were allowed in my office, you say I could quit my job. But what's the point of that? Why surrender the economy to people who insist on harming others? There are lots of reasons to quit a job, but "my colleages legally harm me against my will" should not be one of them. THEY can easily smoke outside and the problem is solved.

If I ran my own business and insisted on my right to shoot my employees, they would certainly not argue that this is fine, since nobody has to work for me. Likewise, there exist safety regulations for factories and mines despite the fact that nobody "has" to work there.

In an office second-hand smoke is certainly a non-essential risk, meaning that it does not occur naturally because of the type of work. In mines and factories they have laws against even those risks that are part of the work and non-avoidable.

 

I'm arguing against handing our balls over to the government. 

And I am arguing against handing our balls over to smokers.

I don't need the government in this. I would be perfectly content with people deciding that harming me is wrong even if the government does not specifically address all possible mechanisms that people might decide to use to harm me.

Forcing people not to smoke in certain places is less invasive than forcing people to breath smoke when they don't want it. And I tend to support whatever mechanism is less invaside and protects my rights best.

 

I often find it funny that a lot of the same people howling about how awful our government is are the same ones constantly trying to give them more control.

I find smokers awful and don't want them to have more control. I find government awful too, and I find government even more awful if it gives smokers so much power over me.

 

on Feb 18, 2009

If smoking were allowed in my office, you say I could quit my job. But what's the point of that? Why surrender the economy to people who insist on harming others?

Two points to be made here. 1) Quitting isn't your only option.  You could wear a respirator.  There are ways of protecting yourself against smoke.  2) Our free market society has a way of working things out.  If people don't want to work for our do business with a business that is harmful to them, the business either changes it's ways or fails.  That's why so many office buildings already require their workers to only smoke outside of the building.

Bars are where people like to go to drink and smoke.  Some bars have live music that is really loud and can damage your hearing.  Will the government ban that next?  If a bar owner wants to have a smoke free establishment, they have the right to do that.  If they want to have smokers and you don't want to be harmed by smoke, don't go to that bar.  If the bar has loud music and you fear for your hearing, don't go to that bar.

If I ran my own business and insisted on my right to shoot my employees

Shooting people isn't legal.  Smoking is.

 

Leauki, like I said, I am arguing for American rights.  I like you and understand what you're saying but we're coming from different countries with different governmental issues.  I don't want a nanny state.  I like the freedoms that we have here in America.

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