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Since Carnival Cruise Lines banned smoking on its “Paradise” ship, 14
passengers and one employee have been put off at the nearest port. One
of the passengers was put off the ship after the steward simply found a
pack of cigarettes. According to Carnival, she was guilty of possession.

The Guest Choice Network also reports that Arizona has a new state
law that prohibits the use or possession of tobacco products by any
adult on all school campuses. Parents can be arrested for lighting up
outdoors and subject to a $100 fine for carrying tobacco products in
their purse, pocket or even in their car.

According to an Oct. 10 Associated Press story, the Boca Raton, Fla.,
City Council aims to ban smoking everywhere for new employees. Smoking
is already off limits in city government buildings and one city park.
The City Council’s planned ordinance would ban employee smoking at home
or anywhere else. Employees found to have smoked at home would be fired.
Roughly 700 employees already on the payroll would be grandfathered and
allowed to continue smoking in their homes and cars.

The City Council claims their ordinance would mean lower
health-insurance premiums for all employees. The ACLU contested the
no-more-smokers employment rule in North Miami as a violation of
privacy, but the Florida Supreme Court upheld the rule, saying that
lower insurance costs outweighed the privacy issue.

To support these attacks on smokers, the American people have to be
either stupid or short-sighted. Think about the Florida Supreme Court’s
decision for a moment: Health insurance costs outweigh privacy issues.
Like abstention from tobacco products, daily exercise lowers health-care
costs, and so does daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, six to
eight hours of sleep, and moderate alcohol consumption.

If, for example, the Boca Raton City Council passed an ordinance
requiring all employees to do a half-hour’s worth of exercise daily,
would the Florida Supreme Court uphold that, as well? Why not? It would
be consistent with its opinion that lower insurance costs outweigh
privacy issues.

For everybody except tyrants, private property is the answer to the
smoking issue. If I own a home, office building, factory or bar, I
should have the right to decide whether smoking is allowed or not. You
have the right to decide whether you wish to enter the premises. By the
same token, if you own a home, office building, factory or bar, you have
the identical right, and I have the right to decide whether I shall
enter. I have no more right to use the law to force you to permit
smoking on your property than you have to force me not to permit smoking
on mine. Tyrants can’t live with such a liberty-oriented solution; they
like to forcibly impose their preferences on others.

A major problem with the smoking issue is that smokers have been
cowed into believing they’re doing something wrong. I say balderdash.
Cigarette smoking has always been an acceptable part of American life,
but not in modern America. But look at the kind of moral filth, once
unacceptable, that has become part and parcel of modern America. Actors
can commit any kind of indecent behavior on screen, but only if they
light up will there be a protest. Our youngsters use foul language,
engage in lewd conduct, have babies out of wedlock and engage in
unspeakable violence, and we worry about whether they smoke.

I say America’s nearly 50 million smokers should not timidly comply
with one attack after another. I doubt there’s jail space to house all
of us.

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