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.
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.