An internet junkie’s ramblings


This is just a place for me to rant about politics, society, technology, or whatever else strikes a nerve.
Don't try this at home.

Alternate title: Anti-smoking legislation is destroying America.

It’s no secret that I’m a free-market kind of guy. I believe the free market can solve all of society’s ills given enough time, but politicians seem intent on trying to regulate businesses any way they can to get more votes. I’m also not a fan of any laws or regulations that limit a person’s personal decisions, whatever they may be. It’s not a mistake that the only law restricting personal freedoms in the Constitution, Prohibition, was repealed. This is also a point of contention when discussing flag-burning or gay marriage amendments, but I’ll save those for another time.

Most, if I may generalize, of the anti-smoking campaigners say that it’s not a personal issue, since secondhand smoke has been proven to be harmful. I see this as even more evidence that it is a personal decision, and now a more educated one at that. Science is there to help us make decisions every day, so it should be simple enough to think to yourself, “I’m glad that they found secondhand smoke is dangerous, now I can avoid establishments that allow smoking.” That is not the case.

These same people say that smoking is so pervasive in their daily lives that it’s impossible to avoid secondhand smoke. I’ll avoid the arguments that restaurants cannot adequately separate smoking and nonsmoking sections, because that’s not my point. My point is that if you are aware that a place allows smoking, and you didn’t want to inhale secondhand smoke, why wouldn’t you avoid that place?

This is where the free market comes into the equation. If enough people had that same mindset, the places that allowed smoking would make a wise business decision to no longer allow smoking. When Philadelphia recently banned smoking, a friend there said he couldn’t be happier. He said that over 80% of the people he knew, and he extrapolated this sample to encompass the city’s populous, wanted this law to pass. It was this same 80% that didn’t feel strongly enough to actually make a difference. They begged the legislators to step in and rescue their lungs from smoke-filled bars.

How come no one stepped up to create a smoke-free bar in Philly, with such an automatic built-in customer base? My friend’s response was that “people don’t go to smoke-free bars.” What? That response just tells me that the one or two smoker friends are either too stubborn to try a new place, or the non-smokers are too apathetic to do anything about it. I’m thinking it’s much more of the latter.

These are the same people that rally to regulate big corporations, yet shop at Wal-Mart. They drive gas-guzzling cars, and petition their congressmen to increase fuel efficiency. Actions speak exponentially louder than words. If only Americans would change their own behavior rather than be molded by the legislature, we could truly return to the glorious foundations of this country.

— I’m a non-smoker
I thought The Onion was supposed to be funny

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