I said I would write about the Jersey smoking ban, so here it is. Yeah, I know I say I’ll write about a lot of things, but I actually meant it this time.
Really, that’s all that’s necessary. There’s nothing more to be said. It’s a GOOD thing. And there’s absolutely nothing you can say that can change my mind. Go ahead, try all of the arguments:
- Businesses will lose money – Oh really? So New York restaurants and bars are shutting down? New Yorkers suddenly thought it was hip to go into New Jersey when their ban was imposed? I really want some stats that show me that people suddenly stopped going out because they couldn’t smoke anymore. Hell, just find me one person. On the other hand, I count myself and Lisa among many who have gone out less and less due to the prevalence of smoke. Are there some losses? Of course, but there are also some gains.
- Smoking is a personal right – Sure, so go exercise your right at home, where it doesn’t infringe on my personal right to breath. Seriously, since when are your personal rights more important than mine? Smoking affects EVERYONE AROUND YOU. This isn’t some corny PSA, this is an unavoidable fact. When you smoke, that smoke goes into the air that all the people around you are breathing. And that’s the stuff so bad even you want a filter on it.
- Bars and restaurants are private businesses and should be allowed to make the decision themselves – This one almost makes sense. ALMOST. But once again, the right of the private business does not extend beyond that of the individual. Or should we do away with fire codes? Afterall, if a business owner and his clients are willing to pack 200 people in a 10′ x 10′ room, why shouldn’t they? What about health codes in general? Why should employees have to wear hairnets? You don’t want to eat bad meat or deal with a potentially dangerous occupancy, then go somewhere else. It’s as simple as that.
- Smoking doesn’t really cause cancer, you’ve just been brainwashed – I seriously saw this one on a forum. I cannot believe someone that ignorant could figure out how to use a computer.
I know everybody loves to whip out analogies for these types of arguments and point out how banning smoking is like banning alcohol or something like that, but it’s not. All of you analogies suck. How do I know? Because they do. Seriously, I’ve read them all, and they all suck. Smoking is not like alcohol or fatty foods or any other substances you would like to claim can slowly kill you but are considered “okay” in public. Last week when I downed 4 or 5 Guinness and a couple Maker’s Mark, not a single drop harmed anybody around me. Maybe my liver suffered a bit, but I did not risk injury or disease towards anyone but myself. The smokers in that same bar, however, did damage to my own lungs along with their own. There was no way to avoid it. Even my friend who made sure to blow her smoke away from us hurt me. Maybe my clothes didn’t smell as much because she was considerate, but eventually that smoke did make it’s way up my nose and into my lungs. I can assure you, however, that every drop of the Maker’s Mark went through my own liver.
Listen, I’m all for personal freedoms. You want to go kill yourself? Fine, be my guest. We all have our poisons and we all make our personal choices as to how to handle them. But that’s only hunky-dory as long as those choices don’t affect others around you. As long as you keep blowing smoke out at other people, it is no longer strictly a “personal freedom.”