Repressive Smoking Ban Smothers Business Inside and Out

Published September 4, 2008

Dear Editor:

Boston Globe reporter Stephen Smith sniffs out the lunacy of runaway government intrusion into the rights of private property owners as Boston’s new smoking ban restrictions cloud the liberties of patrons of local businesses (“Hub seeks more bans on tobacco,” September 4).

Dr. Michael Siegel , tobacco control expert at Boston University, stresses that bans on selling cigarettes at pharmacies and convenience stores will have no effect on cigarette consumption, because smokers will simply find other retail alternatives. The public health pentagon will not relent, however.

Now, the restaurants that provided outdoor patios for smokers are told to ban smoking outside as well as in. After all, their logic goes, people (meaning first-class non-smoking patrons) come outside near patios to breathe “fresh air,” not to inhale quickly dissipating outdoor environmental tobacco smoke.

Boston Commons should become “ground central” for a campaign to assert “taxation without representation,” because ever-higher excise taxes are the other shoe of this totalitarian social policy. Smokers have become a class of second-class citizens, with no rights except the right to suffer selective, punitive taxation in the name of public health.

Ralph W. Conner ([email protected]) is local legislation manager at The Heartland Institute.