Smoking Bans


Being a non-smoker, I dislike all kinds of smoke.  I support smoking bans on public property, but not on private property.  People who support the ban on smoking in restaurants and other private property often say "I have a right to breathe clean air!" and my response to that is "Where did you get this right?  Who gave it to you?"

If you are in someone's private home, do you have the right to breathe non-smokey air?  Of course not.  You do not have a right to clean air in a place where you have no right to be.  If you are a guest in someone's home, you are there only because the homeowner allows you to be there, not because you have a right to be there.  You have no right to dictate to the owner of private property how to run their home or how clean the air should be.  If you don't like the air quality in a private establishment, then leave.  This includes privately-owned bars, restaurants, stores, shopping malls, etc.  The owner of that property has the right to make the rules because it's his property.  If someone wants to open a store where customers must be smoking a cigarette to walk in, then I fully support this.  If someone wants to open a store where all customers must be naked, or dressed like clowns, or constantly jumping,  then I support that as well.  If you don't like the rules in a given store or other privately-owned establishment, then leave.   Do not demand that property owners conform to your ideal of how things ought to be.  Do you pay the rent there?  Did you invest your time and money in starting that business?  No.  Then who are you to dictate how the business ought to be run?  How would you like it if I came onto your private property and started telling you how to run your place?

Having said that, I fully support smoking bans in public parks, bus stops, train stations, and other public places where people congregate.  Public property belongs to everyone, which means everyone has a right to be there.  And if you have a right to be somewhere, you have the right to be free of a smoker's smoke.