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Analysis Og Smoke Free Laws And Policies

2441 words - 10 pages

Introduction: On December 21, 1994, the New York City Council voted on a weakened Smoke Free Air Act (Restaurants seating under 35, and the bar areas of restaurants were given exceptions). Despite unprecedentedly massive petition and fax campaign by the National Smokers Association, the measure passed 36-8. The Smoke-Free Air Act was signed into law by Mayor Giuliani on January 10, 1995, and took effect on April 10, 1995. Since then the moot issue has received attention by most of the people who have different perspectives on the issue. Smoking is a moral issue for many people. What gets neglected is the fact that an establishment's right to decide for itself on its smoking policy is also a moral issue. The business owner is harmed when the government interferes with his business. It is astonishing and just plain arrogant for people to think that they have a right to eat at a restaurant or drink and socialize at a bar. I can’t seem to find any reference to these rights in the Constitution. Few people now dispute that smoking is damaging human health on a global scale. However, many governments have avoided taking action to control smoking - such as higher taxes, comprehensive bans on advertising and promotion, or restrictions on smoking in public places-because of concerns that their interventions might have harmful economic consequences. For example, some policymakers fear that reduced sales of cigarettes would mean the permanent loss of thousands of jobs; that higher tobacco taxes would result in lower government revenues; and that higher prices would encourage massive levels of cigarette smuggling. Discussion: Citizens in this great land were once able to enjoy a cigar or a cigarette at restaurants and bars. Over the years, however, most state governments have succumbed to anti-tobacco groups and have infringed upon the right of private establishments to determine for themselves their smoking policy. (Malek, 2000) Different people have different moral perspectives on the issue of Smoke free laws. Some people do not take it as a practical issue. According to them this is not an issue about second-hand smoke, or economics. It is, at core, a moral issue. It is a human rights issue. The real victims aren’t even smokers, they are business owners. The constitution specifically protects the rights of business owners to run their business the way they see fit. The only alternative is that the state decides how businesses should be run. (Your Rights Are Gone, 2002) Many non-smokers are content with these laws. They say that they were frustrated with having to breathe in smoke while they were eating, dancing or talking; moreover, they did not appreciate smelling like smoke when the evening was over. Let's not forget the waiters or waitresses who say it is their right to work in a smoke-free environment. (Malek, 2000) Commenting on the issue a person states that: This is an immoral and unconstitutional act that pisses all over the rights you and I...

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