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Thursday, March 01, 2007


O'Malley Endorses State Ban On Smoking

In Maryland, the state government is attempting to pass a law that would ban smoking in public establishments. Most people would agree that this law is not only beneficial to non-smoking customers, but also to the businesses that have allowed smoking in the past. Obviously, non-smokers would no longer have to suffer foggy smoke clouds that most bars and many restaurants have become accustomed to, and business owners are likely to see a boost in overall sales since non-smokers will no longer be avoiding their establishment due to smokey conditions.

Some have said that non-smoking laws will lose businesses money because the smokers wont want to go to the establishments their accustomed to if they cant smoke inside. A bogus argument i think. Smokers aren't going to boycott public establishments all together because of a minor inconvenience. Colorado passed the same law not to long ago. The restaurant that I bar tend for saw an obvious increase in sales. Our smoker regulars still came in just as frequently as they had before except they were smoking outside. And new customers also came in clearly stating that they had come in because they didn't have to worry about the smoke anymore.

While this law may infringe on the liberty of some people, its better for society as a whole to adopt this. Not only will public establishments make more money through higher sales, but people will be able to enjoy cleaner places to go blow all their money. And as we know, the more money that people spend, the more money businesses make, the better the economy becomes.

Does the government's action here correct a market failure?
Is a prohibition like this consistent with a proper definition of police power? Is this prohibition really about "public" health, or perhaps "private" health? Are some of the "public" places really private property?
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