Michael Atherton asked:

Why force everyone else to met your needs?

Right back at you, Michael.

Why should many among us put up with the gut-level emotional disgust of losing friends and neighbors to cancer without helping head off the larger pressures?

Why should employers put up with lost productivity caused by unnecessary disease?

Why should we all pay more for medical insurance because of smoking-related problems?

Why shouldn't we all have an expectation of carcinogen-free public spaces?

Am I really the person being selfish?

***Most centrally***, why should everyone meet the needs of a couple bar owners that are unwilling to change with the times? Why shouldn't we respond to the credible scientific evidence, that shows first- and second- hand smoke kills?

Doesn't a ban on smoking in public venues, coupled with the right to smoke elsewhere balance civil liberties pretty darn well?

Why shouldn't we work on gently reducing these societal effects by phasing out the public pressures to smoke by putting a lid on this harmful behavior in our public spaces?

It's the same reason we banned asbestos. But that hurt asbestos manufacturers. It's the same reason we control mercury emissions. But that hurt power producers. It's the same reason we will ban smoking in public places. But on the whole, its at worst debatable whether that hurts bars, though it will hurt some individually. But it will hurt cigarette producers.

It's going to happen. If Ireland and New York City can stick with it, I think we'll be just fine. Perhaps Molly Quinn's just wasn't Irish enough. :)

Bob Spaulding
The Saintly City

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