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Editorial: Expansion of smoking ban worthy of support

Publication Date: 2010-10-29
  • Author:Editorial
  • Publication:Sioux Falls (SD) Argus-Leader

Opponents' argument about lost freedom rings hollow

We've consistently supported the expansion of South Dakota's current smoking ban, and there has been nothing new presented during the campaign to make us reconsider now.

Opponents' prime argument that the ban's expansion would infringe on the property rights of bar, restaurant and gambling establishment owners continues to ring hollow.

Their hyperbole regarding the restriction of personal freedom doesn't align with our nation's and state's litany of workplace regulations. Business owners simply cannot treat their employees whatever way they want and cry "freedom" in the process.

Rather, government holds the right to set policy regarding public health, not only for customers but for the workers who serve those customers as well. That's true already for the businesses that South Dakota's current smoking ban covers. And there's no legitimate reason to continue exempting other businesses.

Even if there's some revenue loss because of the ban's extension - though there's no evidence that'll happen as opponents allege - then how can making more money be a legitimate justification for jeopardizing workers' health?

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