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Rated: E · Editorial · Community · #1449720
Government vs common sense. Just my opinion.
The Problem Is…

The Smoking Ban.  While I agree that a smoke free environment is somewhat healthier than one in which there is smoke the problem is losing the freedom to choose.  I think the government has really overstepped their bounds on this one.  If they signed my paycheck it would be a different story, but I’m paying them.  What gives them the right to dictate to me what I can do in my own place of business.  I’ve even heard about a guy that got a ticket because he was smoking in a company vehicle.  Does this not sound like our government has gone a little overboard here.

This means that a person that drives a truck over the road and spends 24 hours a day in the truck is going to have to pull over and get out of the truck every time they want a cigarette.  Of course they can’t smoke in the truck stop or where they fuel up either.  Does this seem fair?  Does this make any sense to anyone?  But that is only one example of how screwed up that law is.

I can’t stop at the bar for happy hour anymore either.  I’m not allowed to smoke at work all day so when I’m done for the day I need to get that nicotine level back to normal before I can relax.  Only now I can’t smoke at the bar either so I don’t go to the bar anymore.  Thus the bartender is being deprived of my charming company as well as my money.  It just ain’t right.

Rush hour is much more fun now though.  Now you have that many more irritable people on the road paying more attention to getting their nicotine fix than they are to driving.  Does that seem like it is contributing to a healthier environment?

They try to make us think they are concerned about our health.  If that were the case we would all have access to the same health care and nutrition regardless of our income.  Don’t get me wrong.  I, personally, would not want the government mismanaging more of my money in the name of national health care or food programs.  We are already close enough to socialism as it is, and as demonstrated by the collapse of the Soviet Union socialism doesn’t work.  What’s next?  Mandatory exercise in the workplace?  Let’s face it folks, just breathing the air in the city is more damaging than second hand smoke.  Granted the smoke can contribute to the problem but at this point the difference is probably negligible.

I’ve heard the argument that at least the smoker is getting the smoke through a filter.  This is the worst argument I’ve ever heard.  Is the smoker breathing different air than a non-smoker when he isn’t smoking?  There are so many more things to be concerned about in the workplace. I’ve worked in places where the air was so thick with pollutants that you could taste them and sometimes even feel them.  You office workers are not immune either, with all the synthetics they use in buildings and furnishings these days.  They are all made with toxic substances and outgas toxins into the air you breathe.  Not to mention the radiation from your computer screen.  So much for your argument that you should have the right to work in a healthy environment.  The only people that work in a healthy environment anymore are organic farmers.  The sad truth is that the only constant, inevitable fact of life is death.  Something is  eventually going to kill us.

I will agree that sometimes it can reach the point of being ridiculous when the smoke in the air is so thick you have to cut your way through it, but these situations are rare.  By my own observation bars and nightclubs seem to attract the highest percentage of heavy smokers per person.  As most of the owners and managers of these places can testify, they have probably been solicited by someone trying to sell them an air purifier.  Yes, there are alternative solutions.

In many industries that deal with potentially health endangering substances they are required to install systems for removing these substances from the air.  Why not pass a law that requires the owners of establishments that want to allow smoking to install air purifiers.  This leaves people their freedom of choice.  This solution will also help stimulate the economy by creating jobs for the people needed to manufacture, sell, distribute and maintain the units.  It seems like a win, win situation.

Another solution is the designated smoking area.  Many businesses already had them in place, although they do function with varying degrees of effectiveness  depending on how well defined the designated area is ( whether it’s an actual room or just an open area).

There has always been and there will always be people that are really bothered by smoke. However as has always been the case these people are in the extreme minority.  These days the largest percentage of those people seem to be ex-smokers and if you are an ex-smoker I salute you for beating one of the strongest addictions in the world, but a much larger percentage of the population is people that smoke.  Should the many be made to suffer for the few?

To those who are seriously offended by smoke I will say “Grow up.”  Most of us have to face some form of occupational hazard every day even if it’s only transportation to and from work.  You also have the option to seek employment at companies where smoking cannot be allowed.  Perhaps in the pharmaceutical or food production industries, for example.

Now here’s something for you members of the “Temperance Committee” to think about.  Tobacco and alcohol are a couple of the most heavily taxed commodities in the country today.  As our government continues to restrict the use of these things they get used less.  Less use translates to loss of revenue.  They can again raise the tax on them but at some point the cost is going to become prohibitive to the average person and the average person will have to stop buying them.  The government will then have to compensate for the loss in revenue and guess who is going to have to take up the slack.  Again they are taking freedom away from some of us and we are all going to have to pay for it.  What a racket.  They make all of us pay more and get less  for it.

Just my opinion. 

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