10 April 2007

Smoking Ban in State College

I think that the smoking ban described here is a good idea. There has been a ban on smoking in bars in New York City for four years now, and I think it's really good. If every bar is forced to ban it, then I don't think that customers are going to go elsewhere, since they will have no choice. Second-hand smoke has been proven hazardous to one's health, and it would help the staff at restaurants if the ban was implemented. I know there are arguments for the other side, but smoking is already banned in a lot of other places, so maybe this is just the next logical step.
Besides everything else, it is refreshing to go out to a bar and come back without having my clothes smell like cigarette smoke. I don't mind my clothes smelling so much as I mind my jacket smelling, since that I have to wear again.
I realise I'm a non-smoker, so do other people have comments?


Jerry said...

I chafe at the suggestion that banning smoking in restaurants and bars might be the next "logical" step because it's banned somewhere else. Rolling headlong down a slippery slope has little logic to it at all.

That people would have nowhere else to go, so would still patronize bars, is little comfort to me. That's no reason to ban anything.

To me, the harm of smoking is little justification either. Is it really government's role to protect me from myself in such ways? This is where how get trans-fat bans and subway cars you can't walk through. Everyone entering a bar is making a conscious decision--no one is forced, not the patron, not the employee.

We should let the people decide--not with a vote but with their dollar. If the people preferred a smokeless bar, you would have them. We don't need our overbearing Uncle deciding for us.

D said...

Yes, I realise that was a slippery slope argument if ever there was one. However, I disagree with your argument that starts in the paragraph "To me..."
The same argument could have been made when they were enacting safety legislation for factories years ago. People made a choice to work in the mill, therefore they were risking having their arm torn off by a machine. Second hand smoke has been proven dangerous to one's health, and while the dangers may not be as apparent -- or dramatic -- as getting one's arm torn off in a mill, I think, from a workplace safety standpoint, there is an argument to be made.
Quoting from a US Department of Health and Human Services Press Release from 27 June 2006:
"U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona today issued a comprehensive scientific report which concludes that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent. The finding is of major public health concern due to the fact that nearly half of all nonsmoking Americans are still regularly exposed to secondhand smoke."
The link is: