I have heard a lot of arguments against smoking bans in general. As an X-smoker I can relate to them in some ways. This even gets more accentuated considering I believe a smaller government is a better government. Where does the government get off telling me where and when I can smoke (or not in this case)? It gets off with the idea for the same reason I can’t spray bug spray in folk’s face. Cigarette smoke has been proven toxic, in lots of ways. It should be restricted in public places. Places such as restaurants and bars. I know, I know… as customers, if we can’t stand the smoke, we can leave the premises and find a place that doesn’t allow smoking. Wait! This works for the customers but what about the workers? Jobs don’t come easy for a lot of folks. I’m sure a lot of the people working in the bars and restaurants would love to work in a non-smoking environment but low and behold, the jobs are scarce!

Now I ask you, do the workers in bars and restaurants not deserve the same protection to their health that you do in your workplace? Have you not noticed that you cannot smoke in your office, store or (as so popular here in DeKalb) your warehouse? This is because there are laws protecting your health in those industries. I think it’s time to extend that same protection to everybody.

Now for all of you who say it will kill the industry. I doubt it will. First, folks will still want to eat and drink. Some may go to other cities where they can smoke, but most will probably just take the path of least resistance.

A second line of thought for those bars that insist on allowing smoking. Have you not noticed private clubs are exempt from the law? I remember Addison Tx. (I think that’s the city) had some silly rule about serving alcohol except to club members. So the restaurants simply became clubs and charge a couple of dollars each year for membership dues. I can see this as a possible solution. Become a private club! Charge dues, make folks fill out a simple membership form and away you go. Of course, we still have that nasty worker situation. If they paid their dues (maybe coerced), but they get paid, are they members or workers?

Food for thought. This is a hard issue with many sides and arguments. I’m interested in hearing some more arguments on both sides. Please don’t spew the stats. We all know the poisons that smoke has and all of the diseases it causes. Lets discuss this on the rational of individual rights, majority rule, politics and other fun angles.

-joe