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Video: Presidential Hopefuls Talking Smoking Bans?

27 Nov 2007

As the 2008 Presidential election gears up, some candidates are weighing in on an issue that could affect cigar smokers in a big way: a national smoking ban.

Leading Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, along with a majority of their Democratic peers, have already pledged to sign a national smoking ban for “public places” (by which they mean any space where the public is welcome, even if it is actually owned by a private citizen). Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, known for increasing tobacco taxes as governor of Arkansas, has also pledged to sign and push for a national ban.

But other than Huckabee, we havent seen much from the Republican candidates about smoking bans. It isnt hard to imagine that Congressman Ron Paul – known as “Dr. No” for his votes against any federal law not explicitly authorized by the Constitution – is a strong opponent of smoking bans.

Talk on this important issue has been lacking so far in the campaign, but we’re hoping that changes tomorrow night at the CNN/YouTube debate where questions are submitted by anyone with a webcam.

Ultimately, while Id like to see more in-depth talk about these senseless bans, the following question, submitted by a YouTuber from Minnesota, would be a good start:

Patrick S


14 Responses to “Video: Presidential Hopefuls Talking Smoking Bans?”

  1. Flamingo Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 6:03 am #

    This guy comes off as sort of a dick, but — like the commentaries on this website — he makes a good point. I hope his question is considered, and I hope it sparks a much-needed debate on government intrusion.

  2. dave Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 1:48 pm #

    That's a very unobjectionable situation, but what about a existing restaurant that all of a sudden decides to allow and encourage smoking? It's not fair that all the workers will have to put up with it then.

    I love smoking my cigars as much as the next guy, but coming up with a pristine hypothetical is easy, unfortunately the problem is more complex.

  3. Mac and Nudo Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 4:42 am #

    Dave, it doesn't matter if the restaurant already exists or not. The essence of PRIVATE PROPERTY is that you own it and can do with it as you so choose.

    Sure, some bartenders or waitresses may be inconvenienced or even leave for another job once smoking is allowed, but that policy is up to the business owner — not Washington bureaucrats.

  4. Jeff's Garage a Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 8:39 am #

    I've said all along, if the demand by the public is truly for a smoke free restaraunt, then the MARKET will accomodate them, as it already has. If I own a restaraunt or a bar, and no one wants to patronize my establishment because of the smoke, to save my business, I'm going to…. ban smoking. But that is MY decision based my business instincts and an understanding of what it is going to take to survive. Let the market – NOT an intrusive government – make the decision for me.

  5. dave Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 12:16 pm #

    Mac, I'm a cigar smoker and a small business owner. Running a restaurant catering to the public and private property are 2 different creatures.

    I'm all for owners setting up their own rules. Changing working conditions on the employees would violate employee rights. That's the sticky point for me.

    If you want to start a restaurant, hire people who are willing to work under the conditions you've set forth, go fot it and I'll definitely frequent and enjoy smokes there.

    basically, i don't think you can violate the working conditions agreed upon originally with the employees.

  6. Jeff's Garage a Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 1:41 pm #

    Dave I'm going to take Mac's side on this.

    If I OWN the restaraunt, I should be allowed to make the decision as to what legal activities are to be condoned on my private property. So running a business and private property rights go hand in hand, they are not unrelated in this regard. That's what makes so many of us crazy over this. Its a gross violation of the private property rights of the business owners. And its a violation that can cost the business owner money, because the government is making the decision for them, based on do-gooder ideology, not on what makes the most business sense.

    Businesses do not exist for the employees – they exist to turn a profit for those who own them. No one has a right to dictate to their boss what the terms or their employment are after they are already working there. Now, if there is some type of contract that the boss has agreed to, then ethically yes, the employer is obligated to live up to that agreement. But to say that I should make my business decisions based whether or not my employees will be happy with it…..

  7. bill Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 10:44 am #

    i wish everybody would stop reading books from chapter 5 on. start at chapter 1 i.e. exsiting businesses may have existing agreements with employees that the business is smoke free but only because the government changed the rules that were in force previously. if the employees had no problem with the rule change of not allowing smoking they should not have a problem when the discrimantory bans are lifted. they can't have it both ways

  8. bill Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 10:48 am #

    i guess people don't want smoke around them in bars while they are pickling their livers anf killing their last brain cells. of course you know the ban on alcohol should be coming soon, you know, for the good of everyone's health, just like meat, guns cars, the sun, water. we just need to be more aware of the heath crisis we're in and ban everything.

  9. bill Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 10:51 am #

    i wonder how the anti-smokers will react when something they like is banned because someone else thinks it should be. groups like aaa, madd, gamblers annonymous and the aclu are probably working on something rightr now.

  10. bill Thursday, November 29, 2007 at 11:01 am #

    it's a funny thing about this counrty and the politicians that run it. they worry about the gay vote and the hispanic vote and the religious vote and the black vote etc etc etc. it's seems they care about the votes of all minorities except the smokers group, which i believe are larger than most minorities. maybe we should show them how much our votes mean. of course many would say their are much more important issues to deal with than smokers rights but if freedom is to be taken away, and don't kid yourself the movement is well under way, what is the sense of having a united states of america. it may as well be somolia or mexico.

  11. dave Friday, November 30, 2007 at 12:09 pm #

    running a public business and private property are 2 different creatures. if it's a private organization you can do as you please.

    being an employer means you have to follow employment laws. employees who enter into employment into a non smoke workplace and then all of a sudden it becomes a smoking environment will SUE UR ASS.

    You guys can cling to you "it's a private property" stuff all u want, 1st off it's not private property(public business=adhere to all state laws) and employment laws will bend you over backwards every time.

    I'm talking about situations where you switch up the working environment on employees.

    I'm a conservative, in a perfect world those employees who can't stand the smoke should go find another job, but with employment laws as they are, it makes the life of business owners very difficult.

    I actually plan on opening a cigar shop one day and only hire workers who agree to work in a smoke filled environment.

  12. Jeff's Garage a Friday, November 30, 2007 at 1:38 pm #

    It IS private property, we're complaining about imposing an UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAW. Of course businesses have to adhere to state laws, but if the law is unconstitutional it is more morally offensive than any busboy having to tolerate smoke.

    A law that compels business owners to forbid a legal activity on their property is no more offensive than the government telling you what legal activity you can and can't do in your own home. Its no different. To say that because businesses are goverened by state laws they are not private property is as absurd as saying you don't own your house because the state will not let you sell child pornography in your living room.

    I'm disgusted with Chicagoland bars and restaraunts grabbing their ankles over these smoking bans. It IS a violation of private property rights and it should be challenged as far up the appellate chain as necessary.

    If I did make a switch on my employees and they wanted to sue, bring it on. Its a battle we can win for smokers everywhere, as well as people who are disgusted with the Nanny State and private property violations. Unless employees have a codified agreement with the employer that states the restaurant will be smoke-free, they have no legal recourse that I'm aware of. Again, I'm not going to make my business decisions based on whether it pleases my employees or not. I'm going to do what is best for my bottom line.

  13. dave Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 1:46 am #

    a business open/catering to the public and employing workers is not private property. I don't know why it's so hard for some of you to understand. From a personal standpoint, I think it SHOULD be private property, but by law it's clearly not.

    part of the laws states institute on businesses are safety regulations and employee rights.

    I never said to cater your employees whim, just saying changing working conditions on them will be litigious.

    I can't believe that basic premise would be so misunderstood and debatable.

    This clearly isn't sinking in for some of you, so I'll end my involvement with this topic here.

  14. Jeff Sunday, February 24, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    Wow. you're right, Dave. My employees want a green cookie on St Patrick's Day. I'd better add that to my employment package, lest I be sued.

    I'm sure you're a good guy, don't take these comments as personal. I'm NOT hard headed, I think people who fail to see that this is a private property issue are the dense ones. I own the bar, I own the restaurant. My mortgage is the one at stake regarding the stakes of my investment. I should be the one to decide whether I allow a legal activity on my property (smoking).

    If its "not private property by law", then fight it in court, don't just grab your ankles.

    What if my employees say that I don't keep the thermostat at a proper level, then I'm creating an unsafe work environment? My employees say its too hot in the dining room? But my customers like it. Do I jack up the A/C to make my employees happy? Where does this nonsense end?