September 27th, 2006

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01:51 pm - on banning public smoking...

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on banning public smoking... - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: zyrain Date: September 28th, 2006 - 08:03 am (Link)
I wholly agree with you that it's not fair. I agree that the Cage and similar places should be able to continue on as they are. The fact that such places will be affected is evidence that this particular solution to the issue is not optimal. This ban, in my view, is a large hammer. Wielding the power in this way will help "the problem", but it will do so with many casualties. This impingment on individual rights is lamentable and tragic. I wish better solutions existed, but frankly, this one is DAMN effective. I see it much like chemotherapy for cancer. A Phillop Morris study in 1960 concluded this about bans: "Smokers facing these restrictions consume 11% to 15% less smoking products than average and quit smoking at a rate that is 84% higher than average."

You and other smokers like you are a victim to the government in that they can't come up with a better solution that doesn't violate individual rights to such a large degree. This is a right you're giving up for the benefit of your idiot fellow man who was hoodwinked into smoking. In any society we give up rights for protection in various forms. Some loss of privacy is necessary to prevent crime. Similarly, some rights of tobacco use are given up for the health welfare of all. We can do better, but no one has figured out how, yet.

"If my addiction to nicotene is a flaw that the government should seek to eradicate, then why shouldn't they do the same thing with an alternative sexual preference"

GLBT men and women aren't killing people. On this point, there is no disagreement, and it's central to why this is an exception. My views are otherwise almost wholly libertarian. Unfettered capitalism in a truly free market doesn't lead to the best welfare for all, it leads to monopolies, a stifling of innovation, and exploitation. Everything, even freedom and choice, has a level that is TOO MUCH that it becomes harmful. One can die of of dehydration, but also of hyperhydration. There is much new research showing that our society's nearly unlimited choice of consumer products is making us miserable. Any society with no socially acceptable way to divorce one's spouse has a high suicide rate, but one where divorce is ubiquitious has low rates of happy marriages. Everything has a compromise, a sweet spot, even personal freedom.

A personal anecdote: I've personally witness someone who was trying to quit, fall off the wagon. It was in response to someone else at another table lighting up. Without that trigger and stimulus, she might not be smoking today. These are her views, not my judgements. I know many people who like going to a place (e.g. the Cage) where they know people, feel comfortable, and fit in. I also know many people who freely say the "Have to" smoke when people around them are.

I'm willing to bet that you will continue to haunt the Cage, and that a year from now, by any objective measurement, you'll be having just as much fun there as you do now. It's regrettable that you have to adapt, but you will, and hey, maybe it'll help you quit, which is what you say you want to do, so there's be a little benefit to it for you after all.

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