Friday, January 21, 2011

Interesting frontier read on smoking nannyism

The debates leading up to these final decisions were almost universally conducted on the premise that bars are public places and their patrons have a right not to inhale second hand smoke.Both of these assumptions are untrue.

A typical bar is very obviously a private place, owned and operated by a private individual or a company of them.
As for having a "right" not to inhale others' cigarette smoke, that much is reasonable (and makes the case for banning smoking on public streets).However it is illogical to say that anybody has a right to enjoy somebody else's property in a particular way of their own choosing, including smoke free. If people have a "right" to enjoy smoke free bars, then who assumes the duty of providing them?

The current laws, by allowing smoking in genuinely public places, are failing to protect Canadians from the actions of others. What is worse, the emasculation of property owners as decision makers about smoking on their own premises is an erosion of Canada's tradition of property rights.  Smoking may be dangerous, but eroding the principles of a free society is immeasurably more so, and right now we've got the worst of both worlds. We should reverse the current laws to mimic the Japanese model.  

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