Clearing the Air

Woohoo! The Allegheny County Council has passed a ban on smoking in public buildings (Fedora Tip: The Burgh Blog )! I guess smokers will have to find another way to get their fix away from home . 😉

Addendum: I keep hearing that it's not the government's job to protect us from harmful substances. Really? Then what's the point of the FDA?

"The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all in their separate and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere." – Abraham Lncoln

I'd argue that addiction weakens the will sufficiently that individuals lose the ability, partialy or totally, to protect themselves.

Update: Just hours after the county passed the ban, the PA state senate exempted casinos from all smoking bans . What a crock of $#*%! Now the county ban is in jeopardy. Why do casinos deserve preferential treatment over bars and restaurants? Stupid greedy politicians. I guess now there's another reason to sweep more incumbents out .

Comments 7

  1. John wrote:

    For that matter, what is OSHA for? Allowing smoking in restaurants is an occupational hazard for waitstaff that it’s justifiable to remove.

    Posted 28 Sep 2006 at 3:29 pm
  2. Tom Smith wrote:

    “The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all in their separate and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.”

    Your reading of this quote is off. What he’s getting at is that proper government operates beyond the scope within which individual citizens do. When government operates outside its own realm, and meddles in the affairs of individuals, it is acting incorrectly.

    Posted 28 Sep 2006 at 7:25 pm
  3. Jerry wrote:

    I don’t think Eric would disagree with you Tom, and you’d have to demonstrate that this is going beyond the bounds of governmental action.

    Posted 28 Sep 2006 at 10:09 pm
  4. Tom Smith wrote:

    I think government is acting well within its bounds in banning smoking in public. I merely think that the quote from President Lincoln is a non sequitur to the debate at hand.

    Posted 29 Sep 2006 at 4:40 pm
  5. Jerry wrote:

    Eh, Funky may have been elliptical in presenting the case, but I think the point is valid in that non-governmental action (doctors’ interventions, etc.) has limited impact in minimizing second-hand smoke inhalation in public. I’ve been particularly reminded of this in the past week whenever someone would light up next to me at bus stops–my cold has made me more sensitive to that stuff than usual.

    Thus, in the absence of effectual non-governmental intervention against secondhand smoke, the gov’t may have a role. Just like when robber barons refused to voluntarily give their workers safe working conditions, the gov’t had to intervene.

    Posted 30 Sep 2006 at 6:08 pm
  6. Powerball wrote:

    Ok so a woman can’t smoke BUT…. she can still go kill her unborn child.

    Why can’t we get as outraged over abortion as we do casinos and smoking?

    Posted 06 Oct 2006 at 5:42 pm
  7. Funky Dung wrote:

    1. I do.
    2. It’s a lot easier to pass anti-smoking legislation than anti-abortion legislation. That doesn’t mean abandon the latter, but it doesn’t hurt to do what’s possible in the short term.

    Posted 06 Oct 2006 at 9:54 pm

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