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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Smoking Bans

Radley Balko nails the real impetus behind smoking bans:

"I bring this up to point out the absurdity behind the rubric that we're banning public smoking to save lives. That's just shit. The real reason we're banning smoking is what you might call the "Kevin Drum's Drycleaning Bill" argument.

"It goes like this: Non-smokers don't like cigarette smoke. They don't like that it gets in their hair, and their clothes, and makes their eyes watery. But they also really, really dig bars that allow smoking. Bars they don't own. Bars they didn't invest in. Bars whose livelihood doesn't depend on them. But that's not important.

"Instead of starting or patronizing or investing in smokeless bars or restaurants, it's just much easier to pass a law that forces the places they already like to conform to their needs, to bend to their will, to serve them on their terms, and under their conditions. In short, they want to use the state to force everyone else to adopt their cleaner, more politically correct, more fashionable habits, and at the same time rid their lives of the hassles and inconveniences they feel are caused by the people who don't.

"Put more simply, it goes something like this: "I like to drink. So we shouldn't ban alcohol. But I hate smoking. So let's ban it!"

The whole post.

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