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DeVine examines proposed statewide smoking ban in Tar Heel State

Yours truly was interviewed today by Charlotte’s public radio station concerning a Democrat state legislator’s impending second attempt to pass a statewide smoking ban.

Originally published by Mike “gamecock” DeVine as Charlotte Law and Civil Rights Examiner for Examiner.com

It seems we have made a name for ourselves (excerpts below) as Law and Civil Rights Examiner in championing the rights of private property owners against the mob of non-smokers unsatisfied with a free market that provides 65% of all restaurants as smoke-free.

This morning, we advised Julie Rose, reporter from Charlotte’s WFAE 90.7 FM of our continuing opposition to a statewide smoking ban on the following grounds:

* No one has a right to eat at a privately-owned restaurant
* Hence, no one has the right to insist upon air that is aesthetically pleasing to them
* Claims that second-hand smoke is dangerous to one’s health is a crock
* Unpleasant smells and coughing are not health concerns
* If second-hand smoke were truly a health hazard to employees, the law could require face masks
* Coal miners and Textile plant workers wear face masks
* We don’t ban coal mining and textile plants
* Nanny-staters don’t want to be waited on by waiters wearing masks

We did advise WFAE that we would favor repeal of the pre-emption law passed in 1993 that prohibits cities and towns in North Carolina from passing local smoking bans. Obviously, we do agree that government has the right to pass health and safety regulations that apply to private business, but we would say that given the lack of evidence of any significant harm to health from second hand smoke (and obvious common sense), that such a ban should be deemed a “taking” under the just compensation clause requiring the government to justly compensate the property owner for costs of compliance and lost income.

This is a brazen power grab by the non-smoking majority. They prefer to eat in a smoke-free environment, so all restaurants must cater to their preference. Never mind that the free market continues to create smoke-free restaurants at an amazing clip without aid from legislators.

Do not misunderstand. Despite my skepticism of the dangers of second-hand smoke, my sympathies extend to Holliman, and all other who have lost loved ones to tobacco-induced cancer. I lost a grandfather (age 73) and my father (age 65), both life-long smokers, to lung cancer.

They chose to smoke, despite the warning labels, and died from it. That’s no reason to restrict the freedom that ensured they lived as long as they did.

Besides, since our own Sir Walter Raleigh (pictured above) made tobacco a cash crop over 400 years ago, it has provided politicians an east tax target. Maybe that fact will keep us free.

Remainder of column and all links may be found here, at Examiner.com

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer, Examiner.com and Minority Report columns

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