Wednesday, August 27, 2003


The Rev. Brian of American Realpolitik runs a great site for humour which I enjoy visiting. He is a serious humorist (!), however, so I was pleased to get his response to my post on the Bloomberg anti-smoking laws. He writes:

Actually John, the problem with the Bloomberg policies is that people aren't really allowed to segregate. A true libertarian solution would be to let it up to the business to decide. Smokers would gravitate to places where they were welcome, and non-smokers would gravitate to places that catered to them.

Bloomberg has simply banned smoking in publicly accessible buildings. If a bar or restaurant wanted to offer a well-ventilated smoking section they would not be allowed to.

I agree entirely that banning the provision of areas set aside for smokers is unacceptably authoritarian and totally unnecessary. But I have lived through too many years of smokers polluting up all public places to agree that controlling their incursions on other people’s liberties can be left to voluntarism.

Sam Ward also has an interesting comment on the issue.


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