Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Smoking Ban

I didn't really want to weigh in on this issue since I know I cannot convince one single person to change their opinion on this; but its been a very slow week in the blog world.

Many of you have seen both arguements for and against an indoor smoking ban. Proponents of a ban say that we need it to prevent people from being subject to second-hand smoke while opponents point to property rights and the rights of business owners to make their own decisions.

I would like people to compare this to another social issue. President Clinton once said something to the effect that in a perfect world abortion would be legal but no one would choose to have them. I think there are a good number of people who would conditionally agree with that statement (even though in reality it would never happen). Why not apply the same concept to the smoking ban?
What if every restaurant banned smoking, but it was still legal? Yet again, this isn't practical and would never happen; but it shows what could happen.

As you can probably guess, I am not a proponent of an indoor smoking ban, b/c I am a very business minded person and believe in the free market. I think a smoking ban could hurt any number of businesses if it were passed; simply b/c it would eliminate the ability of a restaurant owner to create a "niche" market. In fact, restaurant owners who have already banned smoking in their establishments would probably be the ones hurt most from a bill like this; due to their clients being able to frequent any restaurant they choose after a bill like this passed.

I fully realize that one day Virginia will have an indoor smoking ban, simply because people (more specifically voters) all too often put their own wants and benefits ahead of the public good. Even so, that doesn't mean its the right thing to do.


  • At 4/10/2007 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We have been granted freedom of choice, so if one chooses to eat in a restaurant that allows smoking when personally disliking it, stay at home and eat in your own kitchen. Sometimes you need to boycott establishments or keep off of the soapbox. I personally would like to see everyone quit smoking b/c it is a nasty, stinking, sickening habit that causes young children who are forced to be in this environment to have breathing problems that no one wants to blame on second hand smoke.It will never happen because some ppl still think smoking is so kool!!! Yuck!

  • At 4/11/2007 6:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    EE, I think your points against the smoking ban are well-reasoned. I, too, hate to be around smoke, and certainly don't want to be eating while being trapped, smelling the stuff. However, most of us who feel the same way do not take this situation to the next level and really begin to analyze what's at stake here. I believe the short answer is to let the FREE MARKET set the rules. It is not government's place to legislate our every move, especially involving LEGAL substances. It is unfortunate that people like Gov. Kaine and Sen. Bell feel they know best.

  • At 4/11/2007 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    puff puff, give.

  • At 4/20/2007 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    CITY councillor Harvey Smith has been evicted from a West End apartment declared "unfit for human habitation" by city health inspectors. The Daniel McIntyre councillor, who's served the city for 15 years, was kicked out of the Marie Apts. on Alverstone Street on April 5, after health inspectors found his one-bedroom apartment filled with garbage and hoarded items, infested with vermin and in serious need of major repairs. Health inspectors found mouse droppings and "evidence of mouse harbourage" in the 1,000-square-foot suite, including in a mattress. They also said "debris, filth" and assorted refuse was cluttering up the apartment, which Smith had occupied for 19 years. They also found the suite itself to be in terrible condition and ordered the building's owner to make extensive repairs to its ceiling, walls, doors, floors, plumbing and panelling. Landlord John Penner, who bought the Marie Apts. in 2006, said he had spent four months trying to convince Smith to clean up his apartment.

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