UK to Ban Smoking in Public
The government is to announce a complete ban on smoking in public places, a more radical anti-tobacco policy than previously heralded, reports said. The announcement was to be made by ministers on Monday, with Prime Minister Tony Blair considering the initiative a so-called “legacy issue” which will define his premiership, The Observer newspaper said. According to the paper, a government proposal paper will include a plan to ban all smoking in public places, including pubs, bars and restaurants.
Blair’s government has taken an increasingly tough line on tobacco and has been keeping a close eye on wide-ranging bans on all smoking in public places introduced in Ireland and Norway last year. These bans were controversial when they were introduced, but subsequent opinion polls have found them to be popular, particularly in Ireland.
Bans on the unpopular activity of unpopular minorities are always popular.
Personally, I hate the fact that bars and restaurants in Virginia and the District allow smoking because I find it nauseating to be in smoke-filled rooms. From a results perspective, I would love it if D.C. and Northern Virginia followed Maryland in banning this filthy practice.
As one who values freedom and property rights, however, I find it outrageous. Banning smoking in government buildings is perfectly reasonable, since people are forced to go there. No one is required to go to a bar for the evening. Bar owners should be free to make the determination of how best to serve their customers.