Letters: Thoughts about Michigan\'s smoking ban.

Posted In: Politics, State, Local,   From Issue 702   By: Robert E Martin

15th April, 2010     0

Editor, The Review;

We are having a child soon. Though my parents smoked in front of me when I very young I am not going to smoke around her. I understand that she does not have a choice about being around the second hand smoke, so I will go outside of my own home to smoke. I understand the dangers and would not force that on anyone who does not choose, or cannot choose to put them self' at risk.

I make this statement so you realize that I am not some smoker’s rights nut job. But this law is about choice. The right for you to choose to go to a place that allows smoking or not; the right for business owners to choose to allow smoking or not, at their personal place of business.

Not only should people be personally afraid for their freedom. Personal business should be afraid to do business in Michigan. This law has made owning a business that is conducted indoors and in private open to any kind of legislation our misguided legislators can come up with for public reasons.

I understand and support no smoking in public and private institutions that the public needs access to like hospitals, food manufacturing and sales (including restaurants that do not serve adult beverages).

But to ban smoking in bars is kind of silly.

For the most part people go to bars, clubs and taverns for entertainment and socialization. They choose to got to a bar fully knowing that people smoke in a bar. If they did not want to go to a place that allows smoking, they have a huge array of other choices. There are a lot of very well to do non-smokers out there. I wonder why they haven't opened some non- smoking bars. Indeed, in many cities, including Saginaw, they already have. According to the Michigan legislators they would be millionaires – go free market, go!

The State of Michigan has taken away your right to choose for you and your business. Because they have this law on the books they can introduce any legislation that they choose to ban anything. What is next? Will there be a law banning the use of motor vehicles due to the exhaust fumes? I think that is more damaging than second hand smoke.

Are they also going to ban the electric company? Is the pollution in the air caused by the production of electricity also damaging our lungs?  So long Face Book. Are they going to ban pharmaceutical campaniles from selling their products in drug stores because of the danger that any side effects can cause? They won’t ban the drugs, but they will ban the use of drugs in hospitals and clinics!

I am in a band that plays music at local bars. When this law goes into effect I expect the business to drop off if the bar owner chooses to abide by this law. How many non-smokers are going to pick up the slack for the bars that lose business? How many of you smokers will not go to a bar if you cant smoke? Will business drop off enough where bar owners won’t be able to afford live entertainment? Will business drop off enough that some businesses will have to close their doors, like others have in states that have adopted a smoking ban law? I think it will.

Who knows, this law may be good for us all and we can live happier and smoke free lives. But it sure seems to me that this law is a lot like prohibition in many ways. Though it doesn't ban smoking outright it sure has limited my freedom to smoke. I choose to smoke. Maybe someday I will change my mind, but I will not try to trample on the rights of people who do smoke.

One more question. Seeing that Michigan's legislators are bound and determined to protect us form ourselves (seat belt law) and from the affects of what other people choose (smoking ban law) shouldn't there be a law banning circuses?

Just think of all the dangers!


Chris Walker


Editor’s Note:  Actually, Chris, the residual smoke from burning charcoal contains more harmful contaminants than second hand smoke; but selective science chooses to neglect that fact.  My own prediction is that greasy French fries will be the next to go. You can thank the Michigan Democrats for this one. Republicans successfully blocked it for a few years now; but my own prediction is that it will be another one of those unenforceable laws that will depend on how many non-smokers wage a witch-hunt against smokers, turning them in if they violate the law, and then eating up departmental resources to substantiate and press a valid claim.  The point being missed here is that when one goes into a public place, one should expect to find things that are offensive – that’s why it is called ‘public’.  I can’t stand smelling bad perfume, body odor, or looking at fat people wearing Speedos on the beach. This doesn’t mean I pass laws to have them arrested.



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