Wrapped in gaffa

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Anti-smoking laws in Denmark

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In the middle of this month new anti-smoking laws will take effect in Denmark. The new laws make smoking illegal in bars, restaurants and the like. I think this is a violation of bar and restaurant owners right to serve the costumers they want.

We need to look at the problem. The issue is second-hand smoke and non-smokers right to avoid it. That is a valid and honourable argument. The second argument is that employees should not be exposed to second hand smoking.

The government and the anti-smokers solution to this is to forbid smoking. That is an overreaction in my opinion.

Let us keep the two non-smoker arguments in mind and think of a way to solve the problem without compromising business owners right to run the kind of business they want.

A bar owner should be able to choose if he wants to allow smoking or not (remember that it is still legal to smoke). Non-smokers should stop coming to bars or restaurants where smoking is allowed which would create a market for serving non-smokers, they have the power to do that.

The solution to employees rights are almost the same. Employees should simply deny to work at a bar where smoking is allowed if they don’t want to be subjected to second hand smoke. Then the non-smoking places will have an easier time to find employees for their non-smoking bars.

The funny thing is that instead of solving the problem by taking away freedom, we can solve it by using our personal freedom and market forces.

Why do people keep insisting on taking freedom away instead of using the freedoms they have?

The same approach can be used to solve issues that take away more of our freedom, like fear of terrorism, and copyright. Taking away freedom to solve these issues is a sign of laziness and lack of respect for freedom. When a freedom you care about is taken away, who is going to stand up for you then? The people whose personal freedom you didn’t care about? You better hope they will!


Written by gaffa

2007-08-08 at 17:16

Posted in Politics

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