Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Doing something half right 

Cincinnati City Council recently voted 6-3 not to impose a total ban on indoor smoking. Instead, they merely codified regulations that the city's bureaucracy imposed until the courts threw them out. I don't agree with the premise that second hand smoke is necessarily deadly and I think a smoking ban is a wrong set of priorities for a city to pursue. The issue and the vote can be about here.

Most of the support of a ban on smoking is based upon the figure that the American Cancer Society put out that says 50,000 people die because of secondhand smoke each year. While I have yet to find any dissection of that statistic, common sense tells me that that number is impossibly high to reach. I view second hand smoke as a nuisance and ought to be left to individuals to decide where and how they will interact with second hand smoke and the like.

The other aspect of public smoking bans is the inverse way things get turned around. It is annoying as all get out to see cities in this country be more concerned about whether or not someone is smoking than whether or not they are terrorists in our midst. I have never understood the jihad against smokers and I don't think I ever will. The city fathers here went for a half measure and given the current politically correct zeitgeist in many of our cities, it was the best that could be obtained.

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