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Tom Gardner letter: Look at all options in smoking debate

The anti-smoking lobby is going too far, way too far, if you ask me. As a smoker, I know smoking isn't all that healthy for me, but then again, cancer runs in families and typically, those who get lung or other cancers have plenty of relatives wh...

The anti-smoking lobby is going too far, way too far, if you ask me. As a smoker, I know smoking isn't all that healthy for me, but then again, cancer runs in families and typically, those who get lung or other cancers have plenty of relatives who have gotten cancers of some form or another. Smoking, and to a lesser degree, exposure to secondhand smoke increase the chances by a small amount.

The proposed smoking ban in Fargo restaurants and bars, like many of the others around the country, isn't about nonsmokers having a choice to be smoke-free "for their health." If it were, these people would choose not to patronize smoking establishments.

I think our lawmakers should pay attention to the success of such democratic instruments as free market economies and the constitution on which our country was founded. Our country's founders understood well that majorities could use their majority status to force minorities to live by their rules, which is exactly what the anti-smoking, anti-liberty lobby is trying to do.

As for free market economies, I think the economies of restaurants have already compensated for the desires of nonsmokers since a good 80 percent of eating establishments are nonsmoking already, which is quite convenient since about 80 percent of people are nonsmokers. Why then must the anti-smoking lobby take away the few places that smokers can smoke? Public health? No, because nonsmokers don't need to patronize the few smoking establishments which remain.

And if this is truly about public health, why do we not see other options on the table? Like having smoke filtration systems or adequate ventilation, or physical barriers between smoking and non? Other options are not on the table because the anti-smoking lobby wants to snuff out the things which are offensive to them altogether.

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Tom Gardner

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