Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Charleston smoking ordinance.

Last Tuesday, the Charleston City Council voted in favor of the Smokefree Ordinance, which would ban smoking from all public buildings (restaurants and bars included). The vote was 9-4, however, the ordinance will be read and voted on two more times before it can become actual legislation.

At first glance, it seems invasive for the government to limit where people can smoke in public places. Personal freedom is worth defending, but when exercising a freedom hurts bystanders, it ceases to be a personal act. Smoking doesn't just harm the smoker; it harms anyone around the smoke. Obviously, the main concern is lung cancer from secondhand smoke.

Putting aside the most troublesome potential effect, there are other concerns -- such as my personal grievance, cigarette burns. I have 3 different scars from accidental cigarette burns by others, and while their sincere apologies are appreciated, they can't do anything about the scars.

The next reading of the ordinance is Tuesday, January 23, at 5:00pm at 180B Lockwood Drive (across from Riley Park). There will be a chance for people to speak, so go and let the City Council hear your argument.


~Virginia~ said...

People who oppose the smoking ban are idiots, IMHO. I can't imagine getting all defensive about a habit that's hazardous to your health, expensive to maintain, and just plain annoying.

Anonymous said...

Smoking is healthier than fascism. "Public places" do not include restaurants and bars.
It's one thing to ban smoking on the sidewalk, it's entirely another to tell the owner of an establishment that he cannot decide whether or not his patrons may smoke.
Noone has a natural right to go to an eatery of his choosing and expect it to be clear and smoke-free. It is the right and privilege of the establishment's owner to decide whether or not his guests may smoke. If it offends enough people, I garauntee he will stop the smoking rather than watch his sales plummet. If it doesn't offend enough people, well then, why should we let the will of a minority trump the rights of a business-owner?