I agree and have seen limited smoking bans turn so ridiculous that now in Massachusetts they are trying to ban cigar smoking in cigar parlors. They also tried to ban smoking in private clubs (American Legion Halls for example). I also believe that as soon as they pass national health care they can come up with the excuse the you eating fattening food costs the general public money and thus can be regulated.
Still I do not believe that you have the right to go into a work place and light up a cigarette. An employee shouldn't have to hope there's a job available at a non smoking restaurant since most allow smoking. I don't think this issue should be at the top of the thing's to do list either. I just don't think eliminating smoking in public restaurants is restricting anyones rights as it is defending everyone's right to breath smoke free air.
This topic is a slippery slope in regards to personal rights. On the one hand we could draw the line on smoking in public to apease the non smoker, but this would only open the door to other pet peves that would require lines to be drawn.
If we are going to draw lines perhaps we could look at it from the point of "personal rights" leaving the line to be drawn by the property owner (the business owner) and let them draw the line, rather than making it a divisive issue in favor of one over the other. And letting the individual make the decision as to rather or not to patronize that business.
By imposing restrictions on the smoker we in turn put limitations on the Business forcing them to isolate their custome base, when it should be the "right" and responsibility of the business owner to make that decision not the government.
We as patrons/customers also have the right to do business whith whom we choose, if a business decides not to restrict smokers then we have to right not to patronize that business. If we start "Drawing lines" or "Regulating" then all rights are in jeapordy including yours a mine.
Most resturants accomodate very effectively the rights of smokers and non smokers, they do this because it is the right of the business owner as much as it is the right of either the smoker or non smoker, to regulate either is a regulation on us all, and I simply do not support it.
Niether of your arguments hold any water at all. If you want to smoke take it outside. THAT is your right. But you don't let restaurants serve poison and say that you are putting limitations on business if you restrict what you can serve. I see no reason why people cant just go work at restaurants that don't serve poison if they are afraid of being contaminated. Again you believe in your own personal rights even if they are infringing on the rights of others.
My problem is that people make smoking an issue of personal liberty at all. Your liberty ends where it infringes upon the liberty of others, yet you are, by allowing smoking, infringing upon the liberties of non smokers.
It is a slippery slope but it shouldn't be. What I eat does not directly affect your health. Only mine. If you smoke outside or in private it does not affect my health only yours. If you smoke in a crowded restaurant it affects the health of everyone in there, employees and customers alike.
I've got an idea. Lets trade. We should eliminate taxes on cigarettes but you can only smoke them around other people if you have their consent.
I just like to get you going Sandy. As I said earlier I really think the state should be more worried about budget issues. When I was in Vermont someone tried to make lowering the drinking age an election issue. At the time Vermont was having budget problems. All I could think was "dont we have more important fish to fry?".
I only like the smoking issue because I do not see it as a democrat/republican issue. I think its a smoker/non smoker issue. The smokers therefore try to make it about liberty when its not. If they were talking about banning it entirely I would agree its a liberty issue. I do agree unfortunately that one smoking ban leads to another. Next they'll ban it outside of public buildings (which they've done in some states) and then in public parks. Then they'll say you can't smoke in your car if you have kids (which you shouldn't but hey they're your kids). Then they'll say you can only smoke in your house all the while wondering where all of their tax dollars from cigarettes went.
How do you make the smiley faces????