Monday, April 23, 2007

More smoking ban contradictions

The Elon Poll shows a divide in public opinion over the proposed public smoking ban much like the recent Civitas poll. People support the smoking ban and they support property rights. It’s a contradiction. Earlier I suggested the disconnect may have been between public buildings versus restaurants. But the Elon results led me to think of another theory for the contradiction.

People want public places free from smoking. So they support a ban. They also don’t want the government forcing property owners to do anything. The public essentially wants business owners to ban smoking from their offices and restaurants on their own volition. They’d rather the businesses do it themselves, but if it takes government intervention, so be it.

That’s the theory.

Regardless, the smoking ban as it is understood in the public lexicon is popular and if legislators follow through with it, then they will have a good issue for the next campaign. Property rights is a fine argument if you dislike the smoking ban, but being anti-smoking ban probably won’t do you any favors come Election Day.

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