Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Smoky Politics

Tennessee still seems to be in the grip of the tobacco growers lobby, since a state senate committee recently voted against a bill that would allow local municipalities to pass their own laws concerning smoking.

The whole argument against this is that restaurant owners should have their own say about whether to allow smoking. I think this is a fallacy. In my mind it's the same thing as regulating what chemicals can be used in a restaurant or how clean a restaurant is. We have inspections to guarantee the health and safety of customers, why would it be so wrong to prevent a carcinogenic substance from being forced upon non-smokers? There's no "right" to release deadly chemicals into the air.

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