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Smoke-free Colorado on July 1.

Posted by Chance on June 27, 2006

On July 1 Colorado will ban smoking in bars and restaurants.

This is an issue in which I have previously been on the fence for a while. I believed that if a person smokes or not should be up to the owner of the establishment, while, at the same time, believing that someone should be free of second-hand smoke.

The issue is not one of smoker’s rights vs. nonsmoker’s rights, it is really a question of property rights. It seems that many Americans, probably most, believe the right of people to breathe clean air supersedes property rights. I can understand this argument. However, here is the crux of the matter. Is a customer entitled to the services of that business? I would say no. Radley Balko argues that a customer does not have the right to visit a business establishment and demand that the business establishment follow their rules. Balko states

You don’t have the right to walk onto someone else’s property, demand to be served food or drink someone else has bought, and demand that they serve you on your terms. Free societies don’t work that way.

(His testimony may not have been stated in the most diplomatic fashion if you follow the link).

I know it sucks to go into an Applebee’s and, even though you are sitting in the non-smoking section, have some of the fumes from the smoking section waft over. However, I am not entitled to enjoy an Applebee’s burger. Entitled to breathe clean air? Sure. But not entitled to a restaurant.

It is essentially the same issue when it comes to movie and premium television content (public airwaves may be a different issue). If there is something in the programming that offends me, it is my responsibility to avoid it, not legislate it away. The same with restaurants in my opinion.

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2 Responses to “Smoke-free Colorado on July 1.”

  1. The Prophet said

    Chance, very good post.

    I hate the entitlement mentality. It drives me crazy. I feel like if someone doesn’t want to be exposed to second hand smoke, they shouldn’t go those restaurants that allow smoking. That’s part of free enterprise.

    There will be those restaurants who disallow smoking, and people who don’t want to be exposed to smoking can eat there.

    Or & how about this… those same people can open up their own restaurant and set their rules accordingly.

  2. The Prophet said

    Reminds me of something Jay Leno said back when California was being hit with forest fires.

    “The only places people can go to get away from the smoke are the bars”

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