Enquirer Herald

Take a closer look at proposed smoking ban

Here are some thoughts on the proposed smoking ban in York County:

If passed, could one smoke in their house, but, not in their private business?

If someone has a catered party, home or elsewhere, could they, or their guests, smoke?

If the idea is to protect children, doesn't it seem to be disingenuous to allow smoking anywhere, especially in the home or cars where children have greater exposure potential?

What is the average age of persons dying with SHS related causes as opposed to those without these causes?

How many people died in the past year in York County of SHS?

How many of the 'toxic' elements in SHS are in the air we breathe every day?

If the idea is to protect the general public, shouldn't signage reflecting that "smoking is allowed here" be sufficient?

If there is no 'safe' level of SHS, shouldn't smoking be banned completely? Would the water we drink be acceptable if held to a similar standard?

If it could be shown that the taxpayer costs would actually increase as a result of smoking bans, would that change the debate? Especially, in light of the reverse argument being used as a reason to ban smoking.

It has been reported that only 10 to 20 percent of our population still smoke cigarettes. Hasn't this reduction been voluntary, as have the increase in 'no smoking' businesses? Isn't this preferable to government intrusion into private property rights? The 'market' is working without this intrusion.

Does being 'progressive' always go hand in hand with government restricting choice? Wouldn't it be truly progressive for positive outcomes to be by the choice of the people?

Are independent contractors considered to be 'employees'?

How long will it take for results to be conclusive? The promise that "...slums will soon be only a memory", is still waiting to be fulfilled; and that was promised if only (alcohol) prohibition was passed. It was stated then that "Alcohol in all forms and doses is a poison." Sounds similar to the current "no safe level" for SHS. In levels of importance, wouldn't the current issue pale in comparison, as alcohol was "the cause of three fourths of all of the disease and poverty and sorrow and crime in our land."?

I am reminded of a quote: "Once the principle is admitted that it is the duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments." What is to follow this first step? Does anyone believe there won't be a next step?

Do insurance companies reduce premiums for businesses that go smoke free?

It is not a 'right' to smoke. However, shouldn't it be a right of the owner of property to allow or disallow smoking on their property?

Aren't the majority of restaurants in this area already smoke free?

Smoking is legal. Could the governing bodies force businesses, against their wishes, to have a smoking area? What would be the difference?

Will patrons of impacted businesses, particularly those close to non-restricted areas, go to areas allowing smoking? York County recently gave patrons the opportunity to stay in the county if they desired an adult beverage with their meals on Sunday. Would this proposed ban influence customers to go elsewhere?

It has been reported by supporters of the ban that studies show businesses' bottom lines improve as a result. Shouldn't that be incentive enough to voluntarily ban smoking? Or, perhaps the owners' business plan was to open a place just so people would have a place to go to smoke - making a living would be secondary. Perhaps, this would be a great time to open a smoke free bar. However, if the ban passes, then competition alone would decide the "bottom line." But, isn't that preferable to mandated restrictions on smoking - which is, after all, still legal?

It has been reported, often, that Ireland has a smoking ban, even in the pubs. Has the report that nearly 20 percent of those family owned businesses are no longer in business, been published? Are there other studies reporting similar findings?

Are there credible bodies disputing the research regarding SHS?

We often hear from officials that the concept of "home rule" should be applied to local issues. What could be more of a "home rule" in deciding this issue than letting the home owner rule?

Why are we asked to follow the Surgeon General's opinion when his employer (the United States government) doesn't?

Despite the results, which may not be to everyone's liking, even God gave Adam a choice.

Personally, I would prefer a completely smoke free society (by choice). However, I believe that restricting, what is currently a legal activity, in the manner described, is not in the long-term best interest of the citizens this country. The United States of America, I believe, stands for, amongst other things, the protection of private property rights and the freedom of association. It is with these, and other, thoughts in mine, that compel me to stand with those who oppose passage of this ordinance. Let your council representative know where you stand.

-- Joe Versen lives in Clover and works in York.