OPINION: Smoking ban not govt's role

No one is forced to enter a smoking establishment.

It’s difficult to outline the entire case for rejecting a smoking ban, but here are a few quick responses to what the pro-banners tout.

Secondhand smoke (and now, thirdhand smoke) is killing you? Studies conflict with one another. The idea that cigarette smoke regularly causes acute death, or that a ban is a miracle cure, is ridiculous on its face. There aren’t ambulances lined up like taxis outside of bars on Friday nights.

The surgeon general, a political appointee, saying something “causes” something, doesn’t mean it does, scientifically. Proving causation requires a control group; impossible because it’s unethical (Google: “Josef Mengele, Auschwitz”). Is smoking good for you? No. But you’re not going to be doomed to develop cancer from exposure to a whiff of smoke. And before they start with the asthmatics, there are many people with many allergies that kill, and we’re not banning peanuts, strawberries, etc.

There’s no slippery slope? Google “secondhand fat.” Google “as bad as smoking.” See what the nannies are trying to force onto you using the same logic. Do you want government the controlling your individual decisions for the sake of saving money or making you healthier?

People are “trapped” in a smoking establishment? With the highest turnover rates of any other industry, and nonsmoking work options available, no one is trapped in their hospitality job.

They’re not banning, they’re just asking you to “take it outside”? Look at the public material on their true agenda; their goal is to “de-normalize” and punish smokers. They are driven by a fanatical hatred of smoking. That’s why they hate e-cigarettes – it looks like smoking. That’s why there can be no exceptions; smokers aren’t allowed to congregate like normal human beings.

Being offended by smoking in a smoking establishment is like walking into a bar and being offended that people are drinking, or walking into a racetrack and being offended that there’s gambling there. There are places where I strongly dislike the environment, but I don’t ask government to pass a law to force my will on others. I just don’t go there.

The smoking ban is an annual topic because the people pushing the bans are funded with taxpayer dollars and special interests – the Obama stimulus, and the companies that sell the gums, patches, etc. They’re paid, often with your tax dollars, to promote a ban. Those of us against the ban don’t get money from outside organizations.

The pro-ban zealots insist on an “all-or-nothing” approach, even rejecting plans that give them 90 percent of what they want. Our solution has been to label businesses with an obvious sign, large enough that you can’t miss it. The free market is already resolving this. Recently, CVS announced that it’s not going to sell tobacco products anymore. Over 70 percent of restaurants in Northern Kentucky are smoke-free. We have smoke-free bars. Options are available for consumers and employees.

No one is forced to enter a smoking establishment. ■

Ken Moellman is a spokesman for Northern Kentucky Choice ( and state executive committee chairman of the Libertarian Party of Kentucky.