Scott Tibbs
blog post
May 26th, 2005

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A reasonable exception to the Indianapolis smoking ban

The Indianapolis City/County Council passed a smoking ban recently, but the Indianapolis ban differs in a major substantive way from Bloomington's ban on smoking in "public places". The Indianapolis ban exempts bars; the Bloomington ban does not. The difference between Indianapolis and Bloomington is that the Indy ordinance shows some common sense, while the Bloomington ordinance does not. It is silly to include bars in the ordinance.

The Indianapolis Star editorial says that the ban may be an "intrusion into the free enterprise system", but justifies it by saying that government already regulates other things. Well whoop de diddly do. Let's just go toward hardcore socialism, where government controls every aspect of the economy. After all, the government already regulates the economy in some aspects, so why not add one more area. Then we'll add some more regulations here, a few bans there, and (shazam!) we have a Communist system.

The Star claims that the ban is not an infringement on individual rights, because "no one has a right to harm another person's health." The problem with that argument is that consumers choose to go into establishments where smoking is allowed. Why restrict smokers' choices because some non-smokers do not like the consequenses of the choices they make?

I am 31 years old and I am perfctly capable of making my own decisions. I do not need the Indianapolis City-County council taking the role of my mommy if I go out to eat in Indianapolis. The smoking ban is another example of nanny-state elitism gone too far.