Sunday, January 13, 2008


The city of Louisville has reinstated its smoking ban, and I couldn't be happier about it. Now, without exception, patrons are barred from lighting up in public venues, including bars and restaurants. Once again, we can go in and have a beer and/or a meal without having to worry about someone else's smoke invading the air that we are trying to breathe. I enjoyed that very privilege yesterday, going into a Louisville establishment to enjoy the NFL playoffs in a busy bar that was delightfully smoke-free.

To me, the smoking ban makes absolute sense as a public health measure. Some say that it should be left up to the individual bar or restaurant owner to decide whether he or she wants to permit smoking on the premises. I strongly disagree. Why should it be permissible for anyone to be allowed to emit a dangerous carcinogen into the public breathing space? Why should workers be forced to endure a dangerous and unhealthy working environment?

I hope that the city of New Albany will join the rest of the civilized world and enact a similar ban soon. To its credit, the city of Jeffersonville does have a smoking ban, but it unfortunately does not extend to bars--at least not yet.

This is not an issue of civil liberties. Those who wish to smoke are entitled to do so within the confines of their own homes. They are not, however, entitled to invade the space of others and pollute the public air.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I think i disagree with you on this one. I myself enjoy a smoke free environment, but feel that the decision should be left up to the restaurant/bar owner. I do not believe that public air includes air contained in privately owned establishments. If consumers have that much of a problem with smoking in the restaurants then they will seek out smoke-free establishments, hurting business of the restaurant/bar owners of smoke permitting establishments therefore encouraging them to adopt a smoke free environment. I believe that if this problem is one of significant magnitude, it will correct itself.
I hope you can appreciate my disagreement. Love you Dad.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Meatbe said...

Brendan--Of course I respect your opinion. Thanks for sharing it. I hope that you will share your thoughts and opinions here often, whether you happen to agree with me or not.

As to your point, I think that the right to pollute the air goes out the window when the establishment is open to the public. Anyone can open a private club and pretty much do whatever they wish inside. When the public is invited in, however, public health is implicated.

I also think that the rights of workers have to be considered. I was at a bar in New Albany last week, and complained to the waitress because the smoke eater machine was not working. She said that she sympathized, noting that she didn't smoke herself and that the smoke made her feel sick. In my opinion, no business owner is entitled to subject workers to such a dangerous, health-threatening work environment.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Thanks again for sharing, Son. Love,


6:49 AM  

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