26 August 2003

Statewide Smoking Ban Widely Supported

84% of Arizonians favor passing a law to ban tobacco smoking in any place children may be present. 55% believe any business open to the public should turn the smoking light off. The only exceptions seem seem to be outdoors (26% in favor of ban) and bars where no food is served (only 33% in favor).

Personally, I quit smoking five years ago. Occasionally, I'll fire up a minature Macanudo to accompany a 38 degree fahrenheit frothy beverage. Although my home is a smoke free environment, I don't have a problem with second hand smoke unless it's blown in my face. But if I am the proprietor of a business serving the public, what right is it of the state to tell me I can't smoke in my own establishment? Nobody is compelled to come in and eat in my place. Consumers are free to frequent another establishment that caters to their desire for a smoke free environment.

I'm not claiming that I should have the right to engage in illegal activity on my property, or exclude individuals based on race, religion or sex. Quite the contrary, folks dissauded from entering my place due to the existence of chain smoking fiends are free to exclude my spot from the circle of establishments they visit on a regular basis. And it's not like a single restaurant should be tagged a necessity, to satisfy every whim of even the most finicky patron. It isn't exactly the same as a courthouse where everyone must report to when prescribed. And there's an ample supply of restaurants open to customers to choose from.
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