Chicago Smoking Ban Brings Out Zealots

When the DC smoking ban first got pushed through, I wrote:

Ostensibly, the ban is being put into place as a public health measure protecting workers who are exposed to second-hand smoke through the course of their jobs. Think about wait staff at a restaurant - many of them may not smoke, but they may suffer from the same health problems as smokers due to their constant exposure. That’s a worthy goal for legislation.

Except that almost every person for the ban with whom I’ve spoken wants it because they simply don’t like smoking. They want to eat smoke-free, and they want to go to smoke-free bars. Is it right to limit others’ personal freedom simply because we don’t like how they choose to exercise it?

Basically, my position is that people who don’t like smoking are trying to clear the city of something they simply don’t like under the always-politically-correct guise of “public health.” Don’t believe me? Check out this article in the Post on tobacco lounges that have opened in Chicago since the passage of its own anti-smoking ordinance.

Here is an establishment opened explicitly for the enjoyment of a legal drug. I’ll send you a Sacagawea if you can find a single person either patronizing or employed by such a business that is not fully aware of the carcinogenic qualities of nicotine yet chooses to feed their habit regardless. And yet, just look at the vindictive belligerence of the Kevin Tynan, of the American Lung Association: “It’s just another example of tobacco companies skirting the law.”

Come on, Kevin. This isn’t about protecting non-smokers from secondhand smoke, it’s about you not liking smokers and their habit. You and your association are out to get them, just because you don’t like them. There is a name for people like you: fundamentalist.