Anti-smokers: a Cancer on Liberty

Anti-smokers: a Cancer on Liberty

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“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#1 Mar 6, 2009
Anti-Smoking Paternalism: A Cancer On American Liberty
Op-Ed Contributor
http://www.officialwire.com/main.php...
by Don Watkins
IRVING, CA —(OfficialWire)— 03/06/09 — Newport Beach is considering banning smoking in a variety of new places, potentially including parks and outdoor dining areas. This is just the latest step in a widespread war on smoking by federal, state, and local governments—a campaign that includes massive taxes on cigarettes, advertising bans, and endless lawsuits against tobacco companies. This war is infecting America with a political disease far worse than any health risk caused by smoking; it is destroying our freedom to make our own judgments and choices.
According to the anti-smoking movement, restricting people's freedom to smoke is justified by the necessity of combating the "epidemic" of smoking-related disease and death. Cigarettes, we are told, kill hundreds of thousands each year, and expose countless millions to secondhand smoke. Smoking, the anti-smoking movement says, in effect, is a plague, whose ravages can only be combated through drastic government action.
But smoking is not some infectious disease that must be quarantined and destroyed by the government. It's a voluntary activity that every individual is free to abstain from (including by avoiding restaurants and other private establishments that permit smoking). And, contrary to those who regard any smoking as irrational on its face, cigarettes are a potential value that each individual must assess for himself. Of course, smoking can be harmful—in certain quantities, over a certain period of time, it can be habit forming and lead to disease or death. But many understandably regard the risks as minimal if one smokes relatively infrequently, and they see smoking as offering definite value, such as physical pleasure.
Are they right? Can it be a value to smoke cigarettes—and if so, in what quantity? This is the sort of judgment that properly belongs to every individual, based on his assessment of the evidence concerning smoking's benefits and risks, and taking into account his particular circumstances (age, family history, etc.). If others believe the smoker is making a mistake, they are free to try to persuade him of their viewpoint. But they should not be free to dictate his decision, any more than they should be able to dictate his decision on whether and to what extent to drink alcohol or play poker. The fact that some individuals will smoke themselves into an early grave is no more justification for banning smoking than that the existence of alcoholics is grounds for prohibiting you from enjoying a drink at dinner.

“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#2 Mar 6, 2009
Implicit in the war on smoking, however, is the view that the government must dictate the individual's decisions with regard to smoking, because he is incapable of making them rationally. To the extent the anti-smoking movement succeeds in wielding the power of government coercion to impose on Americans its blanket opposition to smoking, it is entrenching paternalism: the view that individuals are incompetent to run their own lives, and thus require a nanny-state to control every aspect of those lives.
This state is well on its way: from trans-fat bans to bicycle helmet laws to prohibitions on gambling, the government is increasingly abridging our freedom on the grounds that we are not competent to make rational decisions in these areas—just as it has long done by paternalistically dictating how we plan for retirement (Social Security) or what medicines we may take (the FDA).
Indeed, one of the main arguments used to bolster the anti-smoking agenda is the claim that smokers impose "social costs" on non-smokers, such as smoking-related medical expenses—an argument that perversely uses an injustice created by paternalism to support its expansion. The only reason non-smokers today are forced to foot the medical bills of smokers is that our government has virtually taken over the field of medicine, in order to relieve us inept Americans of the freedom to manage our own health care, and bear the costs of our own choices.
But contrary to paternalism, we are not congenitally irrational misfits. We are thinking beings for whom it is both possible and necessary to rationally judge which courses of action will serve our interests. The consequences of ignoring this fact range from denying us legitimate pleasures to literally killing us: from the healthy 26-year-old unable to enjoy a trans-fatty food to the 75-year-old man unable to take an unapproved, experimental drug without which he will certainly die.
By employing government coercion to deprive us of the freedom to judge for ourselves what we inhale or consume, the anti-smoking movement has become an enemy, not an ally, in the quest for health and happiness.
Don Watkins is a writer and research specialist at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. The Ayn Rand Center is a division of the Ayn Rand Institute and promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead." The Institute promotes Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand—author of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead." Contact the writer at [email protected]

“Fredneck County Md”

Since: Feb 08

Small Town

#3 Mar 27, 2009
Anti-smokers are a cancer of society that probably could best be eliminated using a method similar to this one... http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/feb09/7687
John

United States

#4 Mar 27, 2009
The author conveniently overlooks one very simple, yet overwhelming tidbit. Smoker's rights END, where they infringe upon the rights of others. The author compares smoking to alcohol consumption. If a smoker were able to completely contain the smoke that is created when smoking, nobody would even be discussing this issue. Alcohol consumption only kills the individual consuming it. And please don't bring up the drinking and driving argument. Drinkers can catch a cab home. It is NOT possible for a smoker to contain their smoke. "...and they see smoking as offering definite value, such as physical pleasure." Again, what the author conveniently overlooks is the fact that the pleasure received by said smoker can not be contained.

So, basically, he wrote this article in 2007, and regurgitates it again in 2009 because the war on smoke addicts is gaining exponential momentum...and LONG OVERDUE.

“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#5 Mar 27, 2009
John wrote:
The author conveniently overlooks one very simple, yet overwhelming tidbit. Smoker's rights END, where they infringe upon the rights of others. The author compares smoking to alcohol consumption. If a smoker were able to completely contain the smoke that is created when smoking, nobody would even be discussing this issue. Alcohol consumption only kills the individual consuming it. And please don't bring up the drinking and driving argument. Drinkers can catch a cab home. It is NOT possible for a smoker to contain their smoke. "...and they see smoking as offering definite value, such as physical pleasure." Again, what the author conveniently overlooks is the fact that the pleasure received by said smoker can not be contained.
So, basically, he wrote this article in 2007, and regurgitates it again in 2009 because the war on smoke addicts is gaining exponential momentum...and LONG OVERDUE.
Here's where YOU get it wrong. Stay the hell out of places where smoking is allowed if you don't like it. Simple

“Fredneck County Md”

Since: Feb 08

Small Town

#6 Mar 27, 2009
John wrote:
The author conveniently overlooks one very simple, yet overwhelming tidbit. Smoker's rights END, where they infringe upon the rights of others. The author compares smoking to alcohol consumption. If a smoker were able to completely contain the smoke that is created when smoking, nobody would even be discussing this issue. Alcohol consumption only kills the individual consuming it. And please don't bring up the drinking and driving argument. Drinkers can catch a cab home. It is NOT possible for a smoker to contain their smoke. "...and they see smoking as offering definite value, such as physical pleasure." Again, what the author conveniently overlooks is the fact that the pleasure received by said smoker can not be contained.
So, basically, he wrote this article in 2007, and regurgitates it again in 2009 because the war on smoke addicts is gaining exponential momentum...and LONG OVERDUE.
John conveniently overlooks one very simple, yet overwhelming tidbit. That he is a sociopathic tobacco control toad.

“~ Reality IS Perception ~”

Since: Aug 07

Rockaway!

#7 Mar 27, 2009
Sheri wrote:
<quoted text>
Here's where YOU get it wrong. Stay the hell out of places where smoking is allowed if you don't like it. Simple
The "WAR on smoke addicts" is hyperbolic drivel. Sheri, as simple as it is, I'm afraid it is way too complicated for simple, self-centerd, and narrow minds to conceive. And, to think they are the present day "majority".....spook y, very spooky.

Since: Aug 08

Golden Valley,Az.

#8 Mar 27, 2009
John wrote:
The author conveniently overlooks one very simple, yet overwhelming tidbit. Smoker's rights END, where they infringe upon the rights of others. The author compares smoking to alcohol consumption. If a smoker were able to completely contain the smoke that is created when smoking, nobody would even be discussing this issue. Alcohol consumption only kills the individual consuming it. And please don't bring up the drinking and driving argument. Drinkers can catch a cab home. It is NOT possible for a smoker to contain their smoke. "...and they see smoking as offering definite value, such as physical pleasure." Again, what the author conveniently overlooks is the fact that the pleasure received by said smoker can not be contained.
So, basically, he wrote this article in 2007, and regurgitates it again in 2009 because the war on smoke addicts is gaining exponential momentum...and LONG OVERDUE.
Show me that in the constitution

“Just Say No to Smoking Bans”

Since: Jul 07

Location hidden

#9 Mar 27, 2009
BleuJei wrote:
<quoted text>
The "WAR on smoke addicts" is hyperbolic drivel. Sheri, as simple as it is, I'm afraid it is way too complicated for simple, self-centerd, and narrow minds to conceive. And, to think they are the present day "majority".....spook y, very spooky.
Yes, spooky describes it well.

“SECOND HAND SMOKE IS A JOKE ”

Since: Dec 08

tobacco road

#10 Mar 27, 2009
John wrote:
The author conveniently overlooks one very simple, yet overwhelming tidbit. Smoker's rights END, where they infringe upon the rights of others. The author compares smoking to alcohol consumption. If a smoker were able to completely contain the smoke that is created when smoking, nobody would even be discussing this issue. Alcohol consumption only kills the individual consuming it. And please don't bring up the drinking and driving argument. Drinkers can catch a cab home. It is NOT possible for a smoker to contain their smoke. "...and they see smoking as offering definite value, such as physical pleasure." Again, what the author conveniently overlooks is the fact that the pleasure received by said smoker can not be contained.
So, basically, he wrote this article in 2007, and regurgitates it again in 2009 because the war on smoke addicts is gaining exponential momentum...and LONG OVERDUE.
you overlook a simple solution smoking sections work........for everybody.......or simply total smoking venues and total non-smoking venues.......either works.But what businessman but a flaming stupid liberal would outcast 30-50% of their customer base........liberal businesses normally fail because of their liberal ideology and depend on conservatives to basically support their failure..........Liberal laws and regulations have done more to destroy americas ability to compete and manufacture or do business inside our own country than any single issue.

Since: Aug 08

Golden Valley,Az.

#11 Mar 27, 2009
BleuJei wrote:
<quoted text>
The "WAR on smoke addicts" is hyperbolic drivel. Sheri, as simple as it is, I'm afraid it is way too complicated for simple, self-centerd, and narrow minds to conceive. And, to think they are the present day "majority".....spook y, very spooky.
In a Republic the majority do not rule. That right there tells you that we are no longer a Republic.
A little history of governments. It tells you were we are headed. All Anti's should watch this. Actually it is a good video for all to watch.

&eu rl=http%3A%2F%2Fpatriotsforame rica.ning.com%2F&feature=p layer_embedded

“Veritas Vincit. Pro Libertate”

Since: Jun 08

peoples republic of Madison

#12 Mar 27, 2009
John wrote:
The author conveniently overlooks one very simple, yet overwhelming tidbit. Smoker's rights END, where they infringe upon the rights of others. The author compares smoking to alcohol consumption. If a smoker were able to completely contain the smoke that is created when smoking, nobody would even be discussing this issue. Alcohol consumption only kills the individual consuming it. And please don't bring up the drinking and driving argument. Drinkers can catch a cab home. It is NOT possible for a smoker to contain their smoke. "...and they see smoking as offering definite value, such as physical pleasure." Again, what the author conveniently overlooks is the fact that the pleasure received by said smoker can not be contained.
So, basically, he wrote this article in 2007, and regurgitates it again in 2009 because the war on smoke addicts is gaining exponential momentum...and LONG OVERDUE.
Silly troll. If I go to an establishment that allows smoking everyone there is willing participants, if they were not they would find a non-smoking venue. Not every non-smoker runs at the site of a whiff of smoke, many realize the BS that you guys spread is exactly that and not even suitable for fertilizer.

“SECOND HAND SMOKE IS A JOKE ”

Since: Dec 08

tobacco road

#13 Mar 27, 2009
BleuJei wrote:
<quoted text>
The "WAR on smoke addicts" is hyperbolic drivel. Sheri, as simple as it is, I'm afraid it is way too complicated for simple, self-centerd, and narrow minds to conceive. And, to think they are the present day "majority".....spook y, very spooky.
bleui they are not the majority...they maybe no more than 5% of the actual population.Rabid nazi anti-smokers are not the majority.Most folks could care less about a smoking ban until it leads to INFRINGEMENTS on them from the same folks.........which it has

Since: May 08

Columbus, OH

#14 Mar 27, 2009
John wrote:
The author conveniently overlooks one very simple, yet overwhelming tidbit. Smoker's rights END, where they infringe upon the rights of others. The author compares smoking to alcohol consumption. If a smoker were able to completely contain the smoke that is created when smoking, nobody would even be discussing this issue. Alcohol consumption only kills the individual consuming it. And please don't bring up the drinking and driving argument. Drinkers can catch a cab home. It is NOT possible for a smoker to contain their smoke. "...and they see smoking as offering definite value, such as physical pleasure." Again, what the author conveniently overlooks is the fact that the pleasure received by said smoker can not be contained.
So, basically, he wrote this article in 2007, and regurgitates it again in 2009 because the war on smoke addicts is gaining exponential momentum...and LONG OVERDUE.
Then wouldn't the non-smoker technically be infringing on the right of the smoker as well? If according to you, one person's rights end when infringing upon another's, then the non-smoker would be infringing upon the smoker's right to smoke, thus their rights are no longer there.

Don't you hate it when you try to use something as an argument that could clearly work both ways. Think before you write such drivel. As I have said in other places on this topic, smokers have the right to smoke, and non-smokers certainly have the right to not be around it. Business that allow smoking will only loose business. People who did not like smoking never went to those places anyway and only to places who didn't allow it. And Vice Versa.

Restaurants are more or less family establishments, smoking should not be allowed in places like these because children may be present and they aren't really being given the choice to inhale or not inhale second hand smoke. However, smoking in bars or clubs should be up to the person who owns them. You know, the person who paid for the building..pays for the taxes every year... What about that person's rights in the matter? The smoking/non-smoking issue goes way beyond the rights of non-smokers and smokers. It also affects the people who own and run these businesses.

“Fredneck County Md”

Since: Feb 08

Small Town

#15 Mar 27, 2009
CONFEDERATE_1978 wrote:
<quoted text>bleui they are not the majority...they maybe no more than 5% of the actual population.Rabid nazi anti-smokers are not the majority.Most folks could care less about a smoking ban until it leads to INFRINGEMENTS on them from the same folks.........which it has
Actually the anti-smokers are less than 4% of the population. It is estimated that 4% of the population are sociopaths, and not all sociopaths are anti-smokers. You would best figure the number of paranoid schizophrenics who have sociopathic personality disorders as a closer approximation of the minuscule percentage of the population who are anti-smokers.

“TEXAS ... SECEDE”

Since: Feb 08

REPUBLIC OF TEXAS

#16 Mar 27, 2009
Hey BabyBleu, HCS, Sheri, Professor ... TGIF! Enjoy your day! Peace ~ FC
John

United States

#17 Mar 27, 2009
ShadowsOfTears wrote:
Then wouldn't the non-smoker technically be infringing on the right of the smoker as well? If according to you, one person's rights end when infringing upon another's, then the non-smoker would be infringing upon the smoker's right to smoke, thus their rights are no longer there.
HUH!? How is a non-smoker infringing upon the right of the smoker? By breathing?
John

United States

#18 Mar 27, 2009
ShadowsOfTears wrote:
Restaurants are more or less family establishments, smoking should not be allowed in places like these because children may be present and they aren't really being given the choice to inhale or not inhale second hand smoke.
So you're a hypocrite then because on one hand you say business owners should be given the choice to allow/disallow smoking, but on the other you state that it is okay if government regulate it as long as children are involvled. Make up your mind.
John

United States

#19 Mar 27, 2009
CONFEDERATE_1978 wrote:
they are not the majority...they maybe no more than 5% of the actual population.Rabid nazi anti-smokers are not the majority.Most folks could care less about a smoking ban until it leads to INFRINGEMENTS on them from the same folks.........which it has
You got it wrong fool. Non-smokers are the overwhelming (87% nation wide) majority. It's idiots like you that have that little demon addict screaming "FEED ME!!!" in your head that are the minority.
Sunny

Mims, FL

#20 Mar 27, 2009
Sheri wrote:
Anti-Smoking Paternalism: A Cancer On American Liberty
Op-Ed Contributor
http://www.officialwire.com/main.php...
by Don Watkins
IRVING, CA —(OfficialWire)— 03/06/09 — Newport Beach is considering banning smoking in a variety of new places, potentially including parks and outdoor dining areas. This is just the latest step in a widespread war on smoking by federal, state, and local governments—a campaign that includes massive taxes on cigarettes, advertising bans, and endless lawsuits against tobacco companies. This war is infecting America with a political disease far worse than any health risk caused by smoking; it is destroying our freedom to make our own judgments and choices.
According to the anti-smoking movement, restricting people's freedom to smoke is justified by the necessity of combating the "epidemic" of smoking-related disease and death. Cigarettes, we are told, kill hundreds of thousands each year, and expose countless millions to secondhand smoke. Smoking, the anti-smoking movement says, in effect, is a plague, whose ravages can only be combated through drastic government action.
But smoking is not some infectious disease that must be quarantined and destroyed by the government. It's a voluntary activity that every individual is free to abstain from (including by avoiding restaurants and other private establishments that permit smoking). And, contrary to those who regard any smoking as irrational on its face, cigarettes are a potential value that each individual must assess for himself. Of course, smoking can be harmful—in certain quantities, over a certain period of time, it can be habit forming and lead to disease or death. But many understandably regard the risks as minimal if one smokes relatively infrequently, and they see smoking as offering definite value, such as physical pleasure.
Are they right? Can it be a value to smoke cigarettes—and if so, in what quantity? This is the sort of judgment that properly belongs to every individual, based on his assessment of the evidence concerning smoking's benefits and risks, and taking into account his particular circumstances (age, family history, etc.). If others believe the smoker is making a mistake, they are free to try to persuade him of their viewpoint. But they should not be free to dictate his decision, any more than they should be able to dictate his decision on whether and to what extent to drink alcohol or play poker. The fact that some individuals will smoke themselves into an early grave is no more justification for banning smoking than that the existence of alcoholics is grounds for prohibiting you from enjoying a drink at dinner.
Smoking is a public health issue. Period.

If you think it isn't, and therefore want the public health laws to ignore smoking, put your efforts into amending the public health laws.

Articles about "anti-smoking paternalism" might be great fodder for venting your rage, but it doesn't get you any closer to your goal of repealing existing smoking bans and preventing new ones.

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