I myself am not a fan of smoking--I find it a disgusting habit for one to have. I do not however, believe that the answer is to pass laws making a legal activity illegal on privately owned property just because it is open to the public. This is a private property issue. It does not only affect restaurants. If someone owns a repair shop and smokes, then they can not do so inside even though they own the building.
Some people may say that they do not want to be subjected to second hand smoke. The answer to this is already built in to a capitalistic free enterprise society. You are free to choose where you eat and shop. There is a reason why there is no smoking in CiCi's or McDonalds--they know that some customers would not frequent their establishment. Since four out of five adults in North Carolina do not smoke, this is a wise business decision. People help stores and restaurants determine how they will conduct business by their patronage as well as comments and criticism.
This business contains second hand smoke which can cause lung cancer and emphysema. All we are doing by making such laws is perpetuating stupidity. We all know it is bad for us but decide on frequenting establishments that are filled with smoke. It is our fault if we continue to go to these businesses.
What is sad is that these same restaurants will serve someone alcohol who drove to the restaurant and is there by themselves. This guarantees that they will drive under the influence. Convenience stores continue to sell cold alcohol, sometimes even on ice. But wait! Since they put it in a brown bag that will keep them from drinking it in the vehicle. Uh, right? When I was a teen I worked in construction with grown men who would drink on the way back to our shop. They would not have if the beers were room temperature. My first experience with drunk driving was when a close friend of mine was killed in second grade. I have never seen smoking have this same mind altering effect on anyone. I find it odd and a little hypocritical that tobacco is attacked while drinking is protected.
With the smoking ban in effect I am glad as a parent that more businesses are now suitable for me to take my children into. But I believe that it would have happened eventually anyway. I do however, wish that we could preserve the property rights of small business owners in the process. One poll showed that two thirds of North Carolinians were for the ban. I guess "majority rules" is reason enough to justify change at the expense of rights. Capitalism will not work if we do not let it. Our constitutionally limited republic is quickly becoming a democracy where majority (mob) rules. One day the majority will unite on the wrong side, but by then it will be too late. But don't worry; all is not lost. At least the air will be breathable.
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