The Spectacle Blog

Smoking Nags on the March

By on 12.7.05 | 2:46PM

They won again today, this time in Chicago.

We received some interesting comments on my earlier post on the D.C. smoking ban. This issue seems to test conservatives who may personally enjoy smoke-free restaurants, but believe in limited government. Good conservative friends argue, "But my clothes don't smell like smoke at the end of the night." Surely, there's a better justification -- somewhere -- for the imposition of smoking bans. Yet that's what the pro-ban arguments boil down to: a pleasant eating experience. If conservatives believe that is government's business, limited government is dead. D.C. Councilman Carol Schwartz offered a compromise resolution which would ban smoking except in businesses that install high powered fans to clean the air, etc. In other words, businesses could eliminate the health risk. The D.C. Council roundly rejected her proposal.

In short, the bans are blows to freedom. Patrons can no longer choose restaurants which allow smoking or those that don't. The city has decided for them. For more, see my article/interview with Christopher Hitchens on this topic.

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