​Smoke (2008)

         Let’s hear it for the Pennsylvania Legislature.  We can no longer say they do not care for the people, and Senate Bill 246 proves it; by banning smoking in over 90% of PA’s public places and work areas.  This carefully crafted piece of legislation protects the public from the dangers of second hand smoke, while banishing smokers to casinos, some hotels and taverns that meet other government requirements. 

          Are there no legislators left who believe in freedom?  What gives the government the right to tell a business owner who he can serve?  Or how his business should be run? If our elected officials wish to run a business, may I suggest they start one and try to manage it according to the rules and regulations they have imposed.  What can we expect next, “No smokers need apply,” signs in windows?

            I don’t understand the double standard.  Harrisburg uses the tax revenue from cigarettes to fund government programs.  In turn, the legislature punishes the activity they need to encourage to keep programs going.  If second hand smoke and smoking itself are dangerous activities that drive up health care costs, would we be better served to just eliminate it altogether? 

            Make it illegal to manufacture, sell or smoke tobacco products in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  That should drive down the cost of healthcare.  Once that is accomplished the leadership in Harrisburg could then start to concentrate on the tragic effects of secondhand alcoholic beverage drinking.  This could be done slowly, say by implementing a 10% drink tax, then . . .