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Old 03-01-2009, 04:33 PM   #1
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Should Smoking Be Banned in Public?

Over the last few years, lots of restrictions have made their way into place with regard to smoking in public. It was made taboo in the military back in the 1980s (I think the restriction within government buildings was around 1984 +/- a couple of years). I remember a few old-heads who flat out refused to acknowledge this new (then!) regulation and continued to smoke in their offices, but by and large the regulation quickly took hold and outdoor smoking spots began to become popular break areas.

In more recent years, states and municipalities have banned smoking in public restaurants and even bars, which many business owners claim hurts their businesses.

While there is a scientific consensus that smoking is bad for you -causes various cancers, strokes are a risk, heart disease, etc., its also generally agreed by society that adults should be able to decide for themselves the extent to which they want to participate in harmful activities.

In my own fair state, a recent ban on smoking in public spaces went into effect in Arlington, TX just recently. Ironically, the ban extended to a private cigar club to which I'm a member (I'm old enough, btw) and they were worried that they might need to shut down or pay heavy fines. Luckily, the mayor apparently gets his cigars there as well, so some additional municipal legislation made some exceptions for private clubs which might be “grandfathered in.”

It looks like now a statewide ban will get the backing of the Texas Restaurant Association if brought before the Texas legislature again.

Honestly, I'm all for it even though I'm a cigar lover (I only smoke 2-3 a month and outside my own home). Hopefully it won't apply to my Cigar Club, where the big screen tv, free wifi, and leather couches are a wonderful get-a-way, but if all restaurants are required to comply, the economic effect won't be as bad since people won't simply choose to go down the street to a neighboring municipality for a smoke-friendly establishment.

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