End Michigan’s shame and pass the smoking ban
The Legislature has choked before, leaving residents and visitors to this fair state still gasping as they encounter smoke-filled air in public places like restaurants and bars.
So let’s review the arguments as lawmakers contemplate one more attempt to limit smoking in Michigan.
The primary point, often lost in the haze, is that this is first and foremost a workplace ban on smoking. Few workers these days have to put up with colleagues’ smoking; indeed, smokers huddled outside the doors of their places of employment are the norm, rather than the exception. Why should bartenders and the wait staff have a lessened expectation for clean indoor air, just because it is their customers exhaling carcinogens rather than their co-workers?
Second and perhaps more to the point given Michigan’s shaky national reputation these days, even states with agricultural ties to tobacco have made more progress in clearing the air. Smoky restaurants are a tipoff to out-of-staters that the Michigan remains mired in a previous century, an omen that’s visible and concrete even before they pick up on the state’s obsession with its industrial past. How well do you think the Pure Michigan campaign matches reality once tourists step into a bar for a beer?
In a perfect world, lawmakers would not exempt casino floors — their workers deserve clean lungs, too — but after years of stalemate any significant smoke-free progress would be welcome.
Letter to the Editor Detroit Free Press
End Michigan’s Shame, Pass the Smoking Ban
________ implies that the workplace ban, passed by legislation should include all workplaces; where none are exempt, to limit smoking in Michigan. However this would of course affect those public services, and other business such as casinos, and bars, that make their profit from the products they sell, and services they offer to consumers. Furthermore, it would distort the fact that the purpose of government is to secure human happiness, and would conflict with the American fundamental that every person has the right to pursuit of happiness. Utilitarian’s would even agree that, that is not the maximized good of all, or of the “community.” Where multiple franchises are losing money, people are dissatisfied, and money could possibly be lost in the state. I agree with the article ‘End Michigan’s Shame and Pass the Smoking Ban, by________________, that it’s important that smoking be prohibited in public areas, such as restaurants and bars, to limit smoking in Michigan. However it should not be by government interference that a smoking ban be passed. Business owners have the right to own, and open a business opened to the public. Individuals have also the personal liberty of smoking, even in that public area unless otherwise specified by owners. I think it should be left to franchise owners to prohibit or limit smoking in their facilities.
In conclusion, it is not wrong that lawmakers want to limit smoking in Michigan, for the sole purpose of decreases deaths caused by second hand smoking. However any smoking bans does not limit the amount of deaths of smokers themselves, nor does it cause cigarette producers to stop producing cigarettes. If any state including, Michigan want to prevent deaths of any kind caused by tobacco, it must start with the tobacco companies, and not the people.