Property Rights vs. Smoking Bans

The Ohio Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the statewide smoking ban as constitutional. Many business owners argue that the law infringes on their private property rights.

Twenty-seven U.S. states currently have statewide bans on the books, which cover most indoor public places, although many have exemptions for such businesses as cigar bars, casinos, and private clubs.

Property rights are sacred in this country and they must not be removed unless it’s with the best of reasons. But when there’s a legitimate safety issue at stake, government often arrives on the scene and sticks around. Fire exit signs, access for handicapped people, and other occupational regulations may cause a few headaches, but you don’t see any widespread protest. Can second-hand smoke be construed as a valid safety hazard as well that must be avoided?

If we were to agree that bar and restaurant owners have the legal right to dictate the air quality inside their walls, are we discriminating against non-smokers by giving them no healthy option other than to stay home?

What do you think? Are smoking bans an enemy to freedom, or should the number one priority be the health of employees and customers?

2 thoughts on “Property Rights vs. Smoking Bans

  1. Ok guys, I have to rant here and after reading you may uansretndd why. I started smoking 10 Sept 1989 the day after I joined the army. I quit once in 1991 for a week until I got a care package of PalMall’s and I had been out of smokes. Yep, it was right after we breached the berm into Iraq. So I started smoking pretty quick again Smoked for the 21 years in the military. Well for the last 2 years of service I told the wife and kids I’d quit smoking once I retired. Well, as of 1 Jan 2011 I officailly retired. I still have half a pack in my truck but haven’t touched them. I haven’t had a smoke in 34 days. Did I use the patch? nope. Nicoret? nope. A frigging support group? nope. It’s called f$&^ing will power. Or integrity if you make a vow/promise .stick to it. Does it suck that first week OMFG yes! It sucked balls. But sticking to your word any man can do it. This is coming from a man man that smoked 3 smokes on the 15 minute drive to work for 8 years. Smoked a pack a day. But I just quit. Its a choice to start, to smoke, or to quit. No one had to make me do either I chose all three. f’in panzies or the booger peeps I’d rather take the smokers.

  2. Thank you for your “rant” as you put it. Also, congratulations for your ability and willpower to quit smoking after all these years. As a non-smoker myself, I can only imagine what a struggle it must have been. I understand that nicotine is the most addictive drug currently available so it’s no surprise why many people cannot get past those first few days without it. I definitely applaud you.

    However, how do you feel about this in the context of the law? Do you believe that a property owner should have the right to set his or her own rules, or are the health risks just too great to allow that?


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