Monday, October 26, 2009

What Happened to the Indianapolis' Smoking Ban Compromise?

I grew up around a smoker, my father, who paid the price when he died of lung cancer at 51. I was 14 at the time.

I firmly believe that government should not be interfering with the decisions of private business owners. I know the argument that government already can regulate those businesses. The argument that this should allow government to also regulate whether those private businesses also allow smoking is the camel's nose under the tent. It would open the door to endless regulation. Next stop is those fatty, high caloric meals served by fast food restaurants.

This is not about smokers' rights versus non-smokers' rights. Neither smokers or non-smokers have some sort of "right" to be in a private business establishment or to be free from smoke in that business establishment. This issue is completely about property rights and the extent that we want government interfering with those rights.

Nor am I moved by those who claim that a smoking ban is good for business. I am confident in leaving the determination of what is "good for business" to the hard working men and women who have actually invested their money in the business venture.

I thought we reached a reasonable compromise on this issue last year. Smoking would not be permitted in any establishment that serves minors. Protecting minors from the dangers of second-hand smoke is a legitimate government interest, one that might justify limited interference with property rights. Adults, unlike children, have the choice whether to patronize or work at the establishment.

Now the smoking ban advocates are back trying to apply the ban to those places where only adults gather. So much for the reasonable compromise.


patriot paul said...

Last I heard was the current proposal became so watered down with amendments that pro ban people feel no bill is better than a weak bill and issued instructions as such.

generalsn1234567 said...

Here are the instructions. Note on page 19, they are instructed to get closer with "insiders" for another attempt.

Bill said...

I can't think of any more idiotic advice than the following:

"It can be very difficult after investing so much time and so
many resources into a smokefree campaign to walk away with nothing, but often that is
the best strategy. Don’t be afraid to walk away with nothing rather than accepting something that is bad for public health and detrimental to future efforts."