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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fresh Air


The smoking ban kicks in today, and a lot of people are in the full "freak out" mode.

Relax.

It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of democracy as we know it. The republic will not fall. More than thirty other states have anti smoking laws, most more strict than the weak effort that made it through the Pennsylvania house and senate. There has been no economic collapse of the bar and restaurant industry in those other states.

A man interviewed by Newswatch 16's Bob Reynolds said the following yesterday: "You have men and women---dying--fighting for our freedom---they come home---you're going to tell them--after what they have been through---that they don't have the right to smoke?"

Please! Isn't that a bit extreme?

You can still smoke. You just can't do it where other people will be harmed by it.

It's not a freedom issue. It's a health and safety issue. Municipalities all have something called the building code. It mandates things like safe wiring and proper construction. Clean air should be no different.

A few pubs in and around Scranton have already gone smoke-free. It's tough to get a seat most evenings. Some bars and restaurants might see a drop off in business at first, but evidence shows they will rebound nicely, and do even better than they did before.

This should have happened a long time ago.