Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Butts Out Night?"

This from an angry smoker...

"I think the Non Smokers should Jump off thier soapbox. A private business should have the right to set thier own policy with regard to a legal activity. Mississippi is leading the nation in obesity and costing tax payers billions in health care.

Should these fat folks be denied service at Popeyes or McDonalds. I say hell yes. People should make thier own choice on where to eat or where to party. Over 80% of the night life people smoke. One Restaurant in Ridgeland is losing $1500.00 a day sense the smoking ban was approved. Greenville can not afford to loose any more businesses for any reason. Deny our Mayor fast food NOW. "

And this from an equally angry non-smoker...

Smokers just don't get it! Smoking is not a God given right, but breathing is! Sure, smoking is legal drug use and if you choose to kill yourself by using tobacco, you certainly have that right! However, you don't have the right to kill me with your drug.

Hey guys....It's not about YOUR rights, it is about MINE!

Smoking has been proven to cause millions of deaths each year. To my knowledge, abstaining from smoking for 2 to 4 hours has yet to claim a single victim. No one denies smokers the right to kill themselves. Just don't take me out with you.

Smoking bans are about protecting peoples health, not drug users perceived "rights". It is so easy for smokers to say, if you don't like smoke, stay away from the places that allow it. So, what if I don't choose to breathe smoke, but I would like to go to a bar or casino in Greenville? S**t outta luck!

Where are the non-smoking bars and casinos??? So where are MY rights if I choose to gamble my money but not my life?

Most of the smokers I know are major hypocrites. They don't smoke in their offices, homes, around their children or even in their cars because they know it is a nasty, foul habit that is dangerous to others.
But let them get out into "recreational" airspace, and suddenly everyone should have to just deal with their nasty smoke!

The day they legalize homicide is the day you can justify smoking in public places!

Well, it seems that we have hit upon a subject on which we are quite outspoken! Here are two very different (and unusual) views on the topic of "civil rights".

The first writer seems to suggest that because 80% of "night life people" smoke, the majority should rule by virtue of free choice. However, in the next sentence, he believes that "fat folks" should be denied fast food because they are a burden to our health care system.

He/she goes on to state that "Mississippi is leading the nation in obesity"... (Here is where the author's logic loses me and I would have to ask:
  1. Is it less costly to kill yourself with tar and nicotine than fried chicken?
  2. Should we prohibit the sale of cigarettes to obese people, since they already have one major health risk?
  3. If "smokers" and "fat folks" are both majorities in our city, what is the difference in these group's rights?

Okay, on to the second author. He/she seems to clearly illustrate that there are basically two very differing views of this one issue:

  1. If you smoke, it is a political issue about personal freedoms, choices and rights.
  2. If you don't smoke, it is health care issue about infringement of personal freedoms, choices and rights.

At the end of the day, I doubt that either camp will ever understand the other's views. Wars have been fought over less turbulent issues than this and I see no simple solution in sight.

Perhaps a compromise... restaurants and bars could advertise smoking and non-smoking nights. Instead of "Girl's Night Out", how about "Butts Out Night"? Who knows? They might see an entirely different clientele whose money is just as green!



Non-Smoker said...

This is a debate over "Nannyism" rather than smoking in private businesses...yes, private business.

Why can't the market set the tone for which establishments are smoker friendly?

That means business owners could definitively and forcefully make their establishments "smoke free" -smokers should not be given special rights to smoke. "No Smoking" should mean "No Smoking."

Businesses should also have the right to allow smoking if the entrepreneur is willing to lose the non-smokers' buying power without non-smokers being able to exert a "we know better than you do" sense of entitlement.

Publicly-owned facilities could set smoking policies per the leadership of their elected political bodies. The voters can "fire" these politicians if the smoking issue is such a large issue.

The issue of smoking rights has nothing to do with smoking. It has everything to do with allowing Nannies to use political weapons to forward their agenda. Strip away the rhetoric, view the political maneuvering, and it's obvious.

Next, someone will try to ban fried foods (because they know better) or demand that all light bulbs be replaced with compact flourescents (we know the environment better than you do).

See where this heads once you allow the noble attempt at a government enforced smoking ban in places where natural market forces suggest that allowing smoking, or partial smoking, is profitable and desirable to a certain base of customers?

Personally, I don't smoke and won't spend money if I'm not feeling comfortable due to smoke levels. That's the market in action.

If you want to do something legitimate, quit calling on politicians and organize boycotts.
If you can't get "THAT MUCH" support to restrict smoking, then pulling political strings is an end-around method of subverting majority opinion.

That makes you "Holier-than-thou."

Anonymous said...

In a follow up to a previous post:

In today's DDT. Mississippi was honored as the most obese state in the U.S.

"Mississippi became the first state to pass the 30% barrier for adult residents to be obese"

Health officals say the latest state rankings provide evidence that the Mississippi has a public health crisis in its hands

Now is second hand smoke a public health crisis.

As I have said before. Anything that might hurt local business at this time is bad. I don't tell you where to eat.