October 16, 2007

Anti-smoking loonies are essentially the Taliban.

And, like theocratic nuts, they are so convinced of their crusade that they don't think niceties like laws or rights should interfere.

The idea that your behavior can be controlled inside your home is, of course, a blanket violation of the 4th amendment, as well as the rights to property and to privacy that underlie our entire system.

The war on drugs is the model of criminalizing matters of choice and thereby running roughshod over core Constitutional rights.

There is also a strong element of class warfare in this--the law controls only those living in apartments, not detached homes.

My neighbors here smoke. It sucks, sometimes my office stinks like smoke and it bums me out. I curse them and open the window. But I don't seek to control their behavior. And I sure wouldn't empower the state to violate their privacy.

My question is, why is so there so much concern over smokers and so little over control of the insane smog choking American cities. Or the mercury pouring out of coal-fired power plants. Those are massive killers of all that should be rightly controlled

Reason Magazine - Your Place: The Final Frontier

A smoking ban recently approved by the city council of Belmont, California, a town halfway between San Jose and San Francisco, is so sweeping that saying where it does not apply is easier than saying where it does. Smoking will still be allowed in tobacco shops, in automobiles, in some hotel rooms, in private residences that do not share a floor or ceiling with other private residences, and on streets and sidewalks, assuming you can find a spot that is not within 20 feet of a smoke-free location.

That may be hard, since Belmont's smoke-free areas include not only buildings open to the public but outdoor locations where people wait, such as ATM lines and bus stops, or work, such as construction sites and restaurant patios. But a smoker who despairs of finding an outdoor area where smoking is allowed can still light up even if he does not own a car and is unlucky enough to live in an apartment or condominium. He just has to land a role in a theatrical production "where smoking is an integral part of the story."

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles suburb that dubbed itself "Clean Air Calabasas" when it was leading the smoke-free march into the great outdoors is considering an extension of its ordinance that would cover apartments. Even if your landlord doesn't care whether you smoke, Clean Air Calabasas does.

The official justification for these ever-more-intrusive smoking bans is that the slightest whiff of secondhand smoke poses an intolerable hazard. The Belmont ordinance claims tobacco smoke is "extremely dangerous," regardless of dose, and warns that even "exposure to outdoor secondhand smoke may present a hazard under certain conditions of wind and smoker proximity."

Predictably, the ordinance cites former Surgeon General Richard Carmona's assertion that "there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure." But this pseudoscientific leap of faith amounts to saying that every little bit hurts, even if the damage can't be measured.

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