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.