Friday, November 27, 2009

Blog 6: Ban Public Smoking

The issue of government controlled smoking bans has become a largely discussed controversy. An article from msnbc, written by the associated press, reviews the importance of smoking bans, and gives numerous reasons on why the bans should be put into action. Currently only seventeen out of fifty states in the United States have smoking restrictions and more states are looking to join in on these new laws. The laws are proven to decrease the negatives affects of second hand smoking and keep a large amount of the non-smoking public satisfied, but what about the smokers' opinions?
It's not a new surprise that smokers are against the government smoking bans. Many smokers feel the bans are a violation of freedom and civil rights. Thomas Lambert writes with an opposing view on the smoking bans in his article "The Case Against Smoking Bans." He discusses many reasons on why the bans are unreasonable. It can drive away smoking customers from businesses and can bring upon larger complications. He feels that the alternative route to solving the controversy is provide a laissez-faire option. He states, "a laissez-faire policy that would permit private business owners to tailor their own smoking policies according to the demands of their patrons is most likely to maximize social welfare by providing an optimal allocation of both smoking and smoke-free establishments." I feel that this would be the greatest way to satisfy the wants of all members of society, smokers or non-smokers. After all, who really owns the air?
Previously to reading the two articles above I was completely in favor of smoking bans, but after reading Lambert's article I feel that my opinions are drifting towards the side which opposes the government smoking ban. Besides the health reasons supporting the bans, I felt that there was much more evidence to support the side opposing the smoking bans, and I agree with Lambert's alternatives to solving the controversy.

1 comment:

  1. What if the governments mandated that all currently smoke-free hospitality venues MUST provide a smoking section to accommodate smokers, against the wishes of business owners who choose
    to go smoke-free of their own free will?

    That wouldn't be fair, would it?
    Neither are government mandated smoking bans.