Editorial: Smoking ban coming?
Publication Date: 2007-03-23
- Publication:Pierce County Herald
Gov. Jim Doyle has launched a major anti-smoking initiative. It includes a steep increase in the cigarette tax and an attempt to implement a statewide smoking ban in public buildings, businesses and restaurants.
Whether you agree or disagree with Doyle's ideas, the trend seems to be in place - most people don't want to be exposed to secondhand smoke.
A new survey shows where public sentiment is going. A poll of 500 state residents conducted by telephone Feb. 17-19 found that nearly two-thirds of state residents support a statewide ban on smoking in all workplaces - including bars and restaurants...
Opponents of smoking bans argue that smoking is legal. A ban infringes on individual rights. But the right to smoke becomes blurred when the problems also impact a non-smoking neighbor. We may have the right to smoke, but no one has the right to endanger someone else's health.
Doyle's tax increase is also an attempt to stop young people from starting to smoke. A ban on smoking, which is inevitable at some point, is aimed at protecting non-smokers. And, if you look at the numbers, non-smokers outnumber smokers by a huge number.
Doyle said, "Does anybody really doubt where history is moving on this?"