Bob Spaulding responded:

> Michael Atherton asked:
> > Why force everyone else to met your needs?
> Right back at you, Michael.

Sorry, but it's the ban augments that have the contradictions.

> 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?

I see, so since my father died of a heart attack, I have
have the right to ban all fried foods eaten in public
places?  Not to mention most meat products.

Point: People have a choice to smoke or not smoke and
a choice of being exposed to secondhand smoke (except
for children and prisoners).

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

Employers already have the right to ban smoking.  I believe
they may also have the right to non-smokers if they can
show a job related factor. There is no law that requires
employers to allow smoking.

Employers don't have the right to determine your sexual
habits although they might also result in lost productivity
and unnecessary disease.

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

That's your CHOICE, select (or start) an insurance company
that only does business with non-smokers.  If you're
referring to Medicare, then you might also consider banning
motorcycles, etc.

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

Well I guess that means that we have to ban all gas stations and
automobiles.  Gasoline exhaust is known to contain carcinogens 
To repeat an augment that no one else had the courage to respond
to:  Why can't we ban all hunting so that I can hike or ski in
any public space and be free of secondhand bullets.

> Am I really the person being selfish?

Yes.  Why should you have to ban something that I would want to share 
with friends that has no effect on you unless you elect it to?
To protect our health?

> ***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?

You must be new to this discussion.  It's not just a couple of bar 
owners, it's about the right of individuals to make choices for
themselves that involve risk.  Your argument would allow you to
ban anything that involves risk: rock climbing, skiing, bicycling,
on and on.

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

These are public venues that you must take explicit actions to visit
and be affected. It is unlikely that you would ever visit all
of these public venues.

Why is it that I cannot have any public venues where I can smoke?

> 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?

Hypothetically:  Since I believe that "Gay sex" has extremely negative
moral and societal effects, why can't we put a lid on it by banning
"Gays" from meeting in public spaces?

Feel free to replace "Gay sex" and "Gays" with you own personal

> 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.

Asbestos is not a substance that people knowingly partake of for
pleasure and if any fool did that's their business not yours.

> 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.

I don't give a damn whether it hurts bar owners or cigarette producers.
They can go to hell for all I care, and probably should.

I don't want you making health decisions for me, whether it be
smoking tobacco or preventing me from ending my life. These
are my decisions. 

And I reserve the right to assemble peaceably in public with
people who knowingly share a common interest and risk.

Michael Atherton
Prospect Park

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