Dorothy Mantooth is a Saint

Sports, pop culture, and politics, Pittsburgh-style, with french fries on top.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Smoke 'Em In Pre-Designated Areas If You Got 'Em

Pittsburgh City Council votes on the proposed Allegheny County Smoking Ban tonight and the debate rages on.

I'm not a smoker. Never have been; it just always seemed like a stupid habit. But who among us doesn't do stupid things? As long as I continue to eat a Big Mac or a Primanti Bros. sandwich, who am I to criticize someone who's putting harmful things into their bodies? It's a free country, right? First they take away your Marlboros and all that.

You'll find arguments against the ban, like this, in the papers:

From the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:
"Would it be OK to ban the sale of potato chips in bars and restaurants if the majority of citizens were to vote for it? If the owner of a given bar or restaurant chooses to allow smoking in his establishment, why can't people who don't like smoking simply not go there?"

Doesn't hold water, in my opinion. If I don't like potato chips and you do, I don't care if you sit next to me and eat 12 bags of them... I'm not gonna catch any second-hand saturated fats. I can be harmed by the toxins in your cigarettes, though.

And what if I'm allergic to your smoke? I shouldn't have to forfeit going to a favorite hangout because you want to poison yourself and, subsequently, those around you, should I?

So, it seems like a question of "who do we have the freedom to poison?" Should we have the freedom to poison ourselves and others... or just ourselves?

I'd like to kill myself in my own unique way, thanks. I don't need anybody's help.



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