County executive John R. Leopold announced today he wants a countywide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants...Who needs freedom of choice in dining establishments, right? Then, he leaps into this fallacy:
...Mr. Leopold said he wants to protect restaurant and bar employees and patrons from the dangers of second-hand smoke and cited a Surgeon General report that said separate ventilation areas for smokers do not eliminate the impact of second-hand smoke.
"This is an important priority for me," said Mr. Leopold, who once suffered from melanoma. "I think ultimately it's going to be a boon (to these businesses).
"Patrons can go with their feet and make other choices, employees can not. We owe all the employees in this county to work in a smoke free environment and have their health protected."Let's address two points with this:
- Patrons can already go with their feet; patrons can go to establishments that do or do not allow smoking. I, personally, prefer establishments that are no smoking. But that's my choice
- Employees can also vote with their feet; I don't think anybody is forcing any employee to work in an environment that exposes them to smoking. If they wish not to work in an environment, they can find an alternative source of employment.
I guess we should not be surprised by the latest example of John Leopold's support of nanny-state liberal government. His record on support of big government goes back over thirty years to his time in Hawaii. But that's a topic for another day. Regardless, when don't need this nanny state big government stuff from somebody ostensibly on our own side...
I hope that, given that there is a Republican majority on the County Council, common sense would prevail if the issue were brought before the council. Sadly, I think the General Assembly will act on this well before they get the chance.