Mike Wangsmo wanger at REDHAT.COM
Wed Dec 31 08:18:18 MST 1997

>The last few days there's been a lot of attention given in the media to the
>new law banning smoking in bars that takes effect in California on January
>1.  I do have to admit to mixed feelings about this.  One one hand I don't
>like the government telling the owner of a bar that he/she can't allow
>smoking in his establishment.  It should be up to the owner of the bar
>whether or not to allow smoking.  If the employees don't like smoking they
>always have the option to quit.
>On the other hand I've been around rude smokers who don't care whether or
>not their smoking bothers anyone else and I have a hard time feeling sorry
>for them.  Also what about the people who work around the smokers but can't
>afford to quit their jobs?

An interesting observation I've made since my move to the "South".  There is
no such thing as a "non-smoking" anything down here.  I figured, coming from
Montana, that we were always behind the times national, but there are very few
smoking businesses left out there.

The changes I had observed in Montana were gradual over the last ten years or
so, but now that I'm back in the middle of smoking everywhere, all the time, I
forgot how much more pleasant it is to be in a non-smoking environment.

Now, more onto the point at hand; Does the government have the right to
dictate what can and can't be done in a private business with respect to
smoking?  I say yes.  The government regulates all aspects of a business in
the forms of public safety and public health.  I'm sure that smoking could be
argued to fall under at least one of those categories.

Just my $0.02 worth.

Mike Wangsmo, QA Manager                           Red Hat Software,Inc

"If you hit the ball hard enough, you never have to run!" --Mike Piazza

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