Are Smoking Bans Really About Health?

(02/08/2005)

Response To Smoking Ban Letter I just love reading peoples' responses to the proposed smoking ban. Everyone has their own take on it, and everyone says whatever they think they need to in order to get others to see their way. The beauty of the arguments is that no one is wrong. For or against. Everyone has valid arguments. Up to a point. Facts and figures are brought up to scare any thinking smoker into submission. After all, how can you argue with "facts", right? "Junk science", on the other hand, well, the world abounds with conspiracies. Some of it is just that, but some of it is real. And the trouble with that is that no one can prove it either way. The arguments could go on into infinity. So the best thing to do is get real. The issue has become so clouded with people blowing smoke that it's a wonder anyone can breathe!

Now, anyone can appreciate that the Health Dept. wants us to have a healthy environment. That is, after all, their job. But think about it. The only REAL change that they are proposing is to make it illegal to smoke in restaurants and bars. A great deal of the time, people leave their children at home with babysitters when they go out to eat. And very rarely do we see children out at bars. There are also many restaurants that do not allow smoking. These would seem to be the logical choice for people who don't want their children or themselves exposed.

The greatest majority of second hand smoke, with the current laws in place, is inhaled in the home. Not at school, not at Walmart, not at Pizza Hut. With all this frenzy of "we must do something to protect the nonsmokers" and the alleged related healthcare costs, I can only assume they mean to go into peoples homes and cars and see to it that no one is smoking, just in case the kids or granny might be present.

This has all gotten just ridiculous. Yes, it should be about health. But the trouble is, the proposed new laws are obviously not really about health. That's why there is so much controversy. The only way to be real about the health issue, is to make cigarettes illegal. And we all know that this won't happen. Anything else is just blowing smoke.

I am certainly looking forward to the next round of public meetings that the board of health has promised are forthcoming. Or are they?

Patsy Buvoltz