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there’s a difference between governing by majority and ruling by it

Washington is looking to pass anti-smoking legislation which restricts the freedom of business owners to decide if their resturaunts will have a smoking section.

Can anyone explain why this is a good idea? I asked the lady collecting signatures, but unfortunately she did not appear to understand my question (I was using big words like “capitalistic” and “freedom”).

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  1. It protects workers from having to work in an environment that is detrimental to their health. I.e., waitresses don’t have to deal with cigarette smoke.

  2. eviljim eviljim

    They can work elsewhere; they knowingly choose to work in an environment which is potentially (yet not proven) as dangerous.

    Note that many people choose to work as Crab fishermen (which has more porential danger than second hand smoke)… it’s an option.

    Also there is no proof that casual encounters, such as employees in resturaunts, have the same negative affects of second hand smoke. The only studies done were on second hand smoke of people married to smokers who live with it.

  3. Note that I am not defending the rationale, just explaining it.

    Having said that, while it goes against my general ideals, the pragmatic side of me is okay with it — or at the very least don’t see it as something worth getting up in arms about. Smoking is really just grandfathered in as something our society accepts. If it just came out today, there’s no way it would be legalized. In fact, I’d be fine it was declared illegal all together.

  4. I completely with your statement that the wait staff should find other employment if they don’t like the smoke. Whether or not a restaurant has a smoking section should be the decision of the owner, not the government.

    I also agree with Bill in that I’d be all about a complete ban on smoking. However, that’s because it wouldn’t encroach on my freedom. Smoking will eventually be illegal in this country, that’s a fact. Perhaps this is just one of the means to that inevitable end.

  5. Allison Allison

    Why is it a fact that smoking will become illegal? Yes, the government is trying to discourage people from smoking by taising the prices, but as long as people are willing to pay for it, it will never become illegal. Also, what about cigars and pipes, since we seem to really only be considering cigarettes.

  6. Why? Look at the trend. The percentage of people who smoke is ever decreasing. Once it gets low enough, it will be snuffed out completely by the government at the persistent request of the non-smoking majority of the population.

    A harmful and inconvenient activity is only considered a freedom if many people participate. The number of people who consent determines everything. It’s the main reason why smoking tobacco is legal yet smoking cannabis is not.

  7. shane shane

    actually, i was just talking about this recently. i have no doubt that in five to ten years smoking will be illegal in almost every public place. it’s the inevitable progression. how many people besides the aclu (who just like to make themselves a nuisance) would really defend smokers. besides smokers themselves, but this isn’t asia, so it’s not like they’re the majority. that being said, no one has the right to blow smoke in my face. now, that being said, people should be able to make rules about their own places/restaurants/whatever. however, let’s give up the libertarianism, it doesn’t bother me at all that smoker’s “rights” are being infringed. yes, a restaurant has a private owner, but that doens’t mean he can do whatever he wants to. for example, a racist owner would be legally obligated to serve minorities. so, why shouldn’t a prosmoking owner be forced to forbid smoking?

  8. eviljim eviljim

    Yeah, I know, it doesn’t affect my life (except for the better, actually), yet it still bothers me. It’s a bunch of people who dislike smoking forcing their view onto others.

    Is it illegal for a racist owner not to serve a specific race? I thought businesses could refuse business for any reason. I could be wrong.

  9. I as well get the impression that a proprietor can refuse service for any reason. Hmm, I wonder where the line is drawn on something like that.

  10. shane shane

    so, the two of you think “no coloreds” signs would be legitimate?

  11. Allison Allison

    my brother was actually in a movie theatre in indiana that had a no colours sign in it. granted it refered to gang colours, however it was still shocking to see.

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