Ethics Argument - Smoking Bans Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

It is the equivalent of banning air traffic to protect the hearing of people who choose to live next to airports.

Modern urban society is associated with many risks and compromises not required of those who choose to live in more suburban communities. Environmentalists tell us that breathing smog is damaging to our lungs, which is a valid reason to exercise the freedom of choice not to live in a large city. Just as concentrated vehicle exhaust gases and industrial air pollution are inherent risks of the choice to live in urban and industrial environments, tobacco smoke is an inherent risk of patronizing business establishments where smoking is permitted.

A stronger argument against smoking in bars and restaurants is made by individuals who work in the food and drink service industry, because they are exposed to second-hand smoke continually. On the other hand, if second-hand smoke is that much of a concern, choosing to work in a smoking environment is similar to someone who is afraid of skin cancer becoming an outdoor lifeguard. Nobody is obligated to work in the food service industry and the choice to seek employment only in business establishments whose owners choose to enforce a smoking ban is always an option.

Perhaps the strongest argument for anti-smoking legislation concerns minor children. Restaurants that cater to children such a fast-food chains, and other theme restaurants will always be in high demand by children regardless of smoking by adults on the premises and children are entitled to many types of governmental protection. On the other hand, nutritionists caution that fast food is, itself, harmful to the health of growing children, yet no legislation prohibits parents from providing fast food to their children.

In that regard, it is harder to justify taking that same decision out of the hands of parents if fast-food establishments choose to permit smoking when parents have the authority to provide their children with unhealthy food available at those restaurants.

Ultimately, the issue boils down to how much governmental regulation is appropriate in a free society and in a culture than permits other equally dangerous involuntary exposures, smoking bans violate the principle of freedom and autonomous choice.

References

Aamot, Gregg. At One Minnesota Bar, the Show's Over; Associated Press (March 14, 2008). Retrieved March 30, 2008, from the Fox News website, at http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Mar14/0,4670,SmokingBanLoophole,00.html

Nizza, Mike. Watering Down Smoking Bans; the New York Times (March 28, 2008). Retrieved March 30, 2008, from the New York Times website, at http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/28/watering-down-smoking-bans/?hp

O'Neill, Xana and Lite, Jordan. Real Estate Companies Making it Tougher for Smokers in Their Homes; the New York Daily News (March 30, 2008). Retrieved March 30, 2008, from the NY Daily News website, at: www.nydailynews.com/news/2008/03/30/2008-0330_real_estate_companies_making_it_tougher_.html

Sources Used in Document:

References

Aamot, Gregg. At One Minnesota Bar, the Show's Over; Associated Press (March 14, 2008). Retrieved March 30, 2008, from the Fox News website, at http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2008Mar14/0,4670,SmokingBanLoophole,00.html

Nizza, Mike. Watering Down Smoking Bans; the New York Times (March 28, 2008). Retrieved March 30, 2008, from the New York Times website, at http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/28/watering-down-smoking-bans/?hp

O'Neill, Xana and Lite, Jordan. Real Estate Companies Making it Tougher for Smokers in Their Homes; the New York Daily News (March 30, 2008). Retrieved March 30, 2008, from the NY Daily News website, at: www.nydailynews.com/news/2008/03/30/2008-0330_real_estate_companies_making_it_tougher_.html

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