Despite this, the anti-smoking advocates would extend a ban to any public place including bars, outdoor restaurants, parks and sidewalks regardless of the preferences of the patrons or the relative ventilation of the area. This not only is an instance of a group imposing its will on another without just cause therefore diminishing their civil liberties, it also diminishes the profits of businesses thus negatively impacting the economy. “Bars and restaurants, as well as other public businesses, must incur additional costs to accommodate their smoking customers, or lose their patronage. Many of the restrictions, such as smoking in outdoor parks or indoor cigar bars (established specifically for cigar smokers), will not reduce the rate of cancer in nonsmokers, but merely restrict one particular behavior that may be annoying to some people” (Fu, 2006).Laws that impede personal freedoms are unconstitutional, defy the intentions of the Founding Fathers and therefore are un-American. Only when a person’s actions negatively affect another does the government have a right to intervene. This is the definition of freedom as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Legislators will not ban smoking entirely because they indicate regulation regarding what adults do in privacy including what they can put into their bodies is clearly unconstitutional and an infringement on personal liberties (Fu, 2006). Our code of law is founded upon a principle of presumptive rationality. Rational adults should be allowed to make personal choices as long as those actions cause no harm to others. In banning smoking from enclosed general public places, the public health is protected, but in extending this to apply to all areas outdoors and all interiors of private businesses, the rights of some Americans are revoked in favor of others with no true justification. government is unequivocally unjustified in choosing this particular personal freedom to ignore at such colossal cost to society. The vast majority of those who like to smoke are happy to smoke in greater open air places where it is less likely that the toxins carried in the smoke would remain sufficiently strong to affect others. However, they, like their non-smoking neighbors, also have the right to enjoy public spaces that their tax dollars help
Fu, Edward. “Should Drugs be Legalized?” Drug Policy News. Drug Policy Alliance. (March 8, 2006). August 23, 2008 <http://www.mapinc.org/tlcnews/v06/n295/a07.htm?134>
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The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). (42 U.S.C.A. §5106g), as amended by the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act. Washington D.C. Child Welfare Information Gateway (2003). August 23, 2008 <http://www.childwelfare.gov/can/defining/federal.cfm>
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