Every day, each of us makes choices that influence our own health: what we eat, how much we exercise, whether we take our medications. These are by nature private choices and private responsibilities.
Some health choices, however, are collective. Outdoor air quality compromised by industrial pollution or mosquito control are good examples of health issues that are by nature public choices and public responsibilities.
Where does smoking in bars lie?Good question professor Bohanon, a question that has baffled me for a myriad of reasons.
In my humble opinion, no one is forced to enter a saloon; nor for all but the shortest duration is anyone compelled to work in such an establishment. Second-hand smoke in a bar is a health issue but no more of one than second-hand smoke in a tobacco shop or a private residence.What is at stake, then, is not public health or business vitality. Those are -- pardon the pun -- smokescreens. Rather, personal freedom and personal responsibility are the issues. If you want to avoid second-hand smoke, good for you: Don't go to bars and don't work there. You are free to encourage, cajole and persuade smokers to change their behavior, plus those who choose to be around second-hand smoke.Interesting argument prof but I question two of your hypothesis here. Even from within my own freedom2choose freedom fighters writings worldwide I have difficulty in their argument that "no one is forced to enter a bar where smoking occurs" and "nor for all but the shortest duration is anyone compelled to work in such an establishment." As I am of a libertarian bent I can see that a non-smoker who is irritated by second hand smoke but still wish to frequent any establishments that takes their fancy believe that they are indeed forced or coerced and as a smoker I know how that feels. And as far as employment is concerned necessity dictates where we work or not (and when) and I find it anti freedom of choice in a capitalist society to hinder that basic freedom.
What is at stake, then, is not public health or business vitality. Those are -- pardon the pun -- smokescreens. Rather, personal freedom and personal responsibility are the issues. If you want to avoid second-hand smoke, good for you: Don't go to bars and don't work there. You are free to encourage, cajole and persuade smokers to change their behavior, plus those who choose to be around second-hand smoke.Anyone with an ounce of the 'old Gray cells' can see that smoking bans have never been about health and everything to do with political lobbying groups that have their heart set against tobacco and it's users. The words Tobacco Control says it all and nothing will deter them in their goal of ridding the world of tobacco and it's users by ritual denormalisation and humiliation, their hatred is that intense. As for "business vitality", well, you are way off base and I find that hard to say as you are a professor of economics. The British hospitality trade has went into sharp decline since the smoking ban came into effect her on the 1st of July 2007. Why couldn't businesses have the basic freedom to choose whether they went non smoking or not?
What is being considered instead is coercion, using force and threats of state-sanctioned violence to make one group of people do what another group wants them to do. And whenever we use coercion to protect people from harms from which they can protect themselves, whenever we allow public force to replace private persuasion, we give up a little bit of freedom, defer a little bit of individual responsibility and give up some of our precious heritage of liberty and take one more step on the Road to Serfdom.One group of people using force and coercion, and the smoking ban and it's many spin offs are very forceful, as any pub landlord that dares to fight the smoking ban here will tell you, is as old as sin itself. I saw this type of tyranny time and time again In the army. If you did not conform to the bigger groups diktat then you were routinely punished. I thought we lived in enlightened times but apparently not.
Finally, I have never quite understood the argument that we should pass a law because people in California or New York have passed one. Are we so insecure, so afraid of being labeled hicks, rubes, that we feel compelled to ape what our "betters" are doing?You and I both Cecil Bohanon, I've never understood any of it either. Once your states fell, one by one like a layer of dominos, on the sword of your smokaphobic legislators then other countries smokaphobic, tobacco hating, legislators wet themselves with glee and turned freedom of assocciation on it's head with draconian communistic laws that threaten everyones liberty and freedoms.
SHS is not harmful to the non smoker, never has been and never will. Invoking theiGodber blueprint he suggested that the anti smoking fraternity should make non smokers think that they would be harmed by a smokers SHS, a blatant lie to further the anti smoking, anti tobacco activists and their cause. The debate on SHS is not over as some anti organisations insist, the fight continues.
You can read anything I missed out of Cecil Bohanon's musings here.