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previous: Wild Bill Just as a sidebar Mark, if the gove... -- 1104960031 View Thread

Re: second hand smoke and freedom

1/5/2005 3:04 PM
Mark Hammer
Re: second hand smoke and freedom
"if the government changes the status quo of a business environment should affected businesses not be entitled to compensation?"  
Yes and no. I'd agree with you that you don't sucker punch them by demanding one set of adjustments and then pulling a switcheroo and declaring those adjustments worthless. On the other hand, what you describe also fits the bill for insisting that companies who dump toxic waste install some means for keeping toxins out of the drinking water supply. There IS a limit to what sorts of things businesses should expect to be compensated for. Moreover, there is a limit to what taxpayers will accept with respect to bailouts and subsidies for commercial enterprises.  
"how does having clearly posted smoking and non-smoking clubs threaten a non-smoker from passive smoke "danger"?"  
You're right in some respects here too. People DO knowingly undertake health risks and as long as those risks are clearly indicated (which they ARE on every pack) and the activity is legal, why the heck not, right? But it's a question of employee rights too, though, and there it becomes stickier. You can pretty much guarantee that no non-smoking *patrons* would enter if they knew it was a smoking club, but how does one verify that no one is stuck working in a smoke-permitted club, as server or even musician, because circumstances force them to be? I suppose you can ask them, but what about the dishwasher who speaks about 4 phrases of English, one of them being "Yeah, sure okay, boss"? It's simply unworkable to give establishments free reign as long as they declare it to be a smoke-permitted place, and turn to spot-checks to make sure no one is losing a lung for minimum wage.  
"There seems to be a clever confusion between the danger of passive smoke (I'm still waiting for hard and credible evidence) and trying to force smokers to quit by effectively restricting their places to light up."  
It's all part of the same strategy. The more someone else smokes, the more second hand smoke there is for others to inhale. I don't know how this is any different than trying to reduce black lung among miners by keeping inhalation of dust particles to an absolute minimum. About 10-15% or so of what smokers take in is actually second hand smoke. It's not like that stuff that comes off the end of the cigarette while you're talking disappears into the void.  
Check here for more information.  
"This would seem the crux of the issue - some believe it's ok to force fellow citizens into "approved" choices and some don't."  
Maybe some do. But the rest of them are simply doing what they were voted in to do, and that is assure public safety and health. What you describe is a bit like saying there ought to be an army and they ought to be equipped and they ought to be deployable at a moment's notice to defend our borders but we don't really want them to shoot anybody. Either they have been given the mission to protect us, or they haven't. You can't scream "Protect me, protect me" and say "Well, actually, let me do this one thing because I *like* to do it". People "like" child pornography too, but if we've tasked people with assuring the safety and welfare of our children, then they're gonna go after folks who like and/or distribute/create it and the argument "Well, you don't have to look at the stuff if you don't like it" isn't going to wash.  
There ARE certainly better and worse policies, and certainly what people want are policies that ONLY have impact on the specific issue without taking the whole thing down with them, Samson style. It,s not easy, though, I'll tell you.  
"my native friends outside of Brantford are quite happy that the good times of high tobacco taxes are back!"  
That's as much a product of not being able to have decent employment as it is related to tobacco taxes. Employment amongst natives on reserves is not exactly a success story, and casinos are not the answer. Trust me, federal officials pay close attention to the level of taxation that strikes a balance between discouraging tobacco use vs encouraging smuggling and other illegal activities. What they do know is that despite increases in cigarette smuggling, teen smoking goes down when taxes go up. Again, if public health people are in it to do good, doesn't that sort of outcome count for something?  
"how many charity bingo halls are closing, due to anti-smoking laws."  
On the other hand, as our own congregation has experienced, its easier to get volunteers to work in the halls when they don't immediately think "I'm gonna smell like an ashtray and cough for weeks if I do this one night". It's not at all clear that bingo halls are the smartest idea for fundraising anyone has ever had anyways. Yeah, they get a lot of money fast, but they do it by preying upon a sector of society that loses out; not much different than video lottery/poker machines.

Wild Bill "What you describe is a bit like sa... -- 1/5/2005 4:28 PM