There are too many smoking bans in the works these days for me to even try keeping up with them all. Indiana is one of the latest attempting to hop on the ban wagon:
State Rep. Charlie Brown is bracing for a fight.
He expects his third attempt to pass a statewide bill outlawing smoking in all public places to face opposition on several fronts.
And with the economy in a tailspin, advocates for bars, restaurants and casinos are preparing to let the Gary Democrat’s colleagues in the General Assembly know this is a particularly bad moment to force them to go smoke-free.
Yet Brown insists the time is right.
“Until somebody shows me concrete proof restaurants and casinos are hurt economically by being smoke-free, I won’t believe that,” said Brown, who chairs the House Public Health Committee.
“I would think, given that there are more non-smokers than smokers, this would be an economic benefit,” he said.
Do we really need to talk about this? Let’s try that argument in some other contexts:
“I would think, given that more people prefer hamburgers to Thai food, there would be an economic benefit to banning Thai restaurants.”
“I would think, given that more people prefer clothed servers to naked ones, there would be an economic benefit to banning strip clubs.”
“I would think, given that more people prefer quiet music to loud, there would be an economic benefit to banning loud music in bars and lounges.”
In any other circumstance this argument clearly makes no sense. Businesses cater to diversity. Thai restaurants cater to people who like Thai food, strip clubs cater to guys who like boobs, and yes, some bars and casinos cater to people who like to smoke. Regardless of what happens to the hospitality industry on net after a smoking ban goes into force, there are going to be some businesses that are adversely affected. Arguing otherwise is painfully stupid and anyone who does so ought to be ashamed of themselves.
For Rep. Brown’s sake, let’s try one more version of the argument:
“I would think, given that more people prefer smart leaders to dumb ones, there would be an economic benefit to banning self-righteous idiots from the Indiana House of Representatives.”
What do you say, eh Charlie?
The magic of politics