It’s not about smoking – it’s about rights |

It’s not about smoking – it’s about rights

As much as I hate smoking – and I’ve never smoked in my life, never even tried it, and I’d never date a woman who smokes – what gives our government, be it local, county or state, the right to tell business owners, who invest their own money and time to build their businesses, what they can and cannot allow regarding their customer’s right to use a legal, albeit unhealthy, product?

To take this to the extreme, I could say that businesses should not sell alcohol because someone might abuse it, get drunk and kill an innocent person or persons while they’re driving home.

Again, as usual, I have to point out that regardless of how much the anti-smoking advocates claim, and I’m anti-smoking to the point of not wanting to outlaw it, there is no legitimate scientific or substantive proof that second-hand smoke affects those subjected to it. Is smoking annoying if you don’t smoke? To most nonsmokers, of course.

But how about leaving it up to the individual business owner to make that decision? By doing that, those who choose to make their establishments non-smoking can advertise it and post signs at their front door, thereby giving the perspective customer a choice, rather than giving them none whatsoever. And those who want to allow smoking can advertise that they’re “smoker-friendly,” and post this sign at their front door.

We, all of us, have to remember that the vast majority of Summit County’s revenue is generated by tourism, and a lot of that is from other parts of the world where smoking is not as looked down upon as it is here in our society.

So let’s use some common sense. If given the choice, I’m certain most businesses would opt to go smoke-free. But there’s no need to legislate this.

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