Philadelphia’s on the clock

Tomorrow at 12:01 New Jersey becomes one of 10 states to ban smoking in restaurants and bars. Philadelphia has been debating such a ban for 2 years – now is the time. All the people that complain that it will hurt business – where are you losing business to? The neighboring states of Delaware, New Jersey, and New York have banned smoking. The excuses are gone.

It’s time.

There are those that argue that there’s a rights issue at stake. I could give a flying fuck about your right to a cigarette. Since when does your right to pollute the air trump my right to breathe clean air? The government has every right to regulate this. They do it already. Do I have the right to view porn – yes. Do I have the right o view porn in public- no. Am I allowed to be nude – yes. At the ballgame – no. The government has the responsibility to act in the best interest of its public; and since only 25% of the population smokes, it’s in the best interest of the majority to protect their health. Smokers will say that bars are supposed to be places where you can smoke – there are – your home.

Disclaimer – I think that smokers have the right to smoke. I basically believe people have the right to do whatever they want – so long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. This is where smoking differs from other vices – overeating, drinking, gambling have an indirect effect on others. Smoking directly affects those around you. So if you don’t mind – I’m going to worry about my rights – not yours.

It’s time that the government stop listening to the whining of smokers and businesses and do what is right.

It’s time.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12226909 radiocynic

    Hi, Spencer –

    Bravo. Some great analogies. Wholeheartedly agree. It just comes down to public safety, similar to the “free speech except you can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” line of reasoning.

    I’ve never been a smoker, and I have no problem whatsoever if they set up private clubs or whatever for smokers to smoke in. But being a bar musician for 20 years most likely took three to five years off my life, purely on the mass quantities of second-hand smoke. So I for one am plenty happy about the new deal.

    – Randy