Skip to comments.Five Reasons to End Government Smoking Bans
Posted on 03/02/2017 8:56:01 PM PST by TBP
For the past several decades, governments have been cracking down on tobacco consumption, including by banning smoking in many places such as bars or restaurants. But we've learned a lot about the effects of these kinds of policies over the last few years and now it's time to reconsider them. Here's why:
1. Property Rights
Most fundamentally, the debate about smoking bans should center on private property rights. Whether you should be allowed to smoke in a bar should be determined by the owner of that bar, not by busybody bureaucrats who think they know how to live everyones lives for them.
2. Second-hand Smoke Isn't as Harmful as Once Thought
In 2013 already there were indications that the commonly accepted narrative on second-hand smoke wasn't entirely accurate. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute (which the below-mentioned Slate article calls "hardly a pro-tobacco publication") published a study which finds no significant relationship between passive smoke and cancer:
"A large prospective cohort study of more than 76,000 women confirmed a strong association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer but found no link between the disease and secondhand smoke."
3. Smoking Bans Dont Make People Healthier
An immensely informative article by Jacob Grier in Slate finally sorted through the questionable "proof" behind the second-hand smoke myth. The bans had largely been implemented because early studies believed there to be a correlation between secondhand smoke and heart disease. Politicians, however, should have waited for more research to be done. In fact, Grier reveals that a 2006 study in the Piedmont region in Italy (published in the European Heart Journal) revealed an 11 percent drop in heart disease, a much smaller drop than the 60 percent that politicians had promised.
After a sweeping ban on smoking inside in England, a 2010 study found a heart attack reduction of only 2 percent. That number is so small that it might not be related to the bans at all. A 2008 study in New Zealand found no correlation whatsoever. The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management published a study in 2010 that also found no significant impact in any age group. Similar US-studies appeared in 2012 and 2014.
4. Smoking Bans Dont Discourage Smoking
Moreover, smoking bans don't actually reduce smoking. Data in France (which implemented its smoking ban in 2008) shows that consumption of tobacco products only correlates with prices.
Source: Institut national de prévention et d'éducation pour la santé (INPES) (National Institute for Health Prevention and Education in France
In fact, the quantity of tobacco sold immediately after the ban rose by 1,500 tons. The French government then promptly reacted by increasing the price increase level by 300 percent over the next three years (between 2010 and 2013, the price increased by 1 per pack on average; taxes make up 80 percent of the price of every pack).
5. The Market Can Handle It
Now that straight-out smoking bans have been generalized throughout many countries and the concept of a smoke-free bar is ingrained in most people's minds, why would people be afraid of the market? The number of people who consume tobacco statically lies between 20 and 30 percent, with no trend showing it to grow above that or go below that line. Gay bars cater to the 15 percent of the population that is gay, and yet they haven't gotten a stranglehold on the bartending market. The exact same goes for bars that would allow smoking inside: while there would be numerous bars that would allow it, the fact that many customers would be repulsed by the idea of being in an environment of cigarette smoke would have a majority of establishments keep their places smoke-free.
Whether you're a non-smoker and you believe that all studies disproving a correlation between smoking and increased risk for cancer and heart disease are all conspiring in favor of Big Tobacco doesn't even matter in that instance. Similarly, if you hold the belief that GMO-foods are bad for your health, there is a simple solution for you: don't eat GMO foods.
Nobody forces you to go into a smoking bar, to work there or to even associate with people who like them. Consider this: you already don't go to most bars and restaurants. That might be because they play music you don't like, serve food you don't eat or host events you detest. The beauty of a free society is that you don't have ever have to change your mind on this, so don't ask others to change theirs.
Drango will be deeply saddened by this article.
Nanny State PING!
Hey if bars, casinos and restaurants want to go out of business, go for it!!!
The average smoker is low education low income.
That’s where you want your market to be!! :)
Cause I would NEVER ####ing go to a place where a smoker is allowed again.
I’ve gotten used to not breathing in toxins. It fits me.
Doctor told my mom she has the lung of someone who smoked for 20 years.
Guess what. She didn’t. Guess who did?
“Gay bars cater to the 15 percent of the population that is gay...”
The article has some severe issues with the statistics cited.
I think he forgot a decimal point.
“I think he forgot a decimal point.”
Good thing he is just a hack writer and not a structural engineer, nuclear scientist, surgeon or an airline pilot.
Private Clubs with enough room and proper ventilation should be able to present the choice to adults. Outside patio seating or a separate windowed room, would be the ideal setting.
Just as I think private clubs and schools should be able to be men only if they want to be, without being sued into oblivion or slandered on Yelp and Facebook.
“The average smoker is low education low income.”
I’m neither,and I smoke.
(I guess I’m just not “average”}
You smoke in the next booth over from my family and me while I’m eating my tacos and enchilada, and I will come over and forcibly show you why I don’t want you doing that.
I support property rights. If there is smoking in an establishment, we cannot go, but it really is up to the business owner. I can see some benefits either way.
I know it would save us money. lol I prefer not to be where there is smoking. I do not like to smell like it. My husband cannot be around it, at all. If I go where there is smoking, I literally have to take a shower and get my clothes into the basement and in the washer. It is not worth the hassle.
But, we live in Wisconsin, so I imagine it would make lots of people very happy.
I think we have reached a point to where the social image and economics of permitting smoking in a business is more powerful than any government smoking ban.
Thus, you could open a restaurant, airline, bar or grocery story that allowed smoking, but in all likelihood, that business would fail.
Just ban tobacco. Problem solved.
I’m tired of all the anti-smoking zealots. Just ban it.
The whining drives me nuts. Ban it.
Stupid. Just ban cigarettes and get it over with. Still too many idiots smoking themselves into graves. So nice that they typically cannot intrude upon the rest of us that have enough common sense to know it is bad and want nothing to do with the filthy habit.
“Second-hand Smoke Isn’t as Harmful as Once Thought
In 2013 already there were indications...”
What? It’s been known for decades that second-hand smoke harm was junk science.
Did that information get swept completely under the rug?
Which is reason #5. The market can handle it, therefore the government shouldn’t.
” Still too many idiots smoking themselves into graves.”
I’m a smoker who has seen many never smokers go ahead of me.
Life can be a crapshoot.
I’ve never been able to figure it out, unless this applies.
Some folks can smoke for 50 years, not as big a problem as you would think. Others can smoke for 20 and die of lung cancer.
I think we each have our weaknesses, and for some folks smoking just isn’t it. For others, it is. For some, second hand smoke is a very big deal.
Your health is your business, but as a smoke I wouldn’t know that you had a lung problem just walking in and lighting up next to you.
I wouldn’t walk into an establishment and force my stink and smoke off on everyone else.
My mom and step-dad chain smoked. I’ve been in rooms that were about 15’ x 15’ with everyone in the room chains smoking, when I was about 12.
Within an hour, there was a four inch thick layer about four feet off the floor, that was just pure smoke.
You know what, it never bothered me.
As an adult now, I can smell it from 50 feet. It’s disgusting. I just don’t know how someone can be so crass as to force that off on everyone else in the place.
If they went back to allowing smoking in places, I wouldn’t frequent places that allowed smoking ever again.
IT SINKS! IT SMELLS TERRIBLE!
Have to agree, but I still miss them sooooo much! I went to a county fair somewhere in Mich. and didn’t see anyone light-up. Things have sure changed! The cost is outrageous!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.