Trial by Fire


Florida's smoking ban, which voters approved last November, has been challenged in federal court, but defenders of propery rights shouldn't get too excited. The suit does not argue that bar and restaurant owners should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to permit smoking on their premises. Rather, it points out that one unintended consequence of the ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces could be to drive Florida's cigar industry out of the state. Cigar makers note that the ban, which takes effect in July, would prevent them from lighting up their products for quality control purposes, an essential part of the manufacturing process. In a lawsuit backed by the Washington-based Cigar Association of America, they argue that the law is unconstitutional because it impedes interstate commerce.

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  1. It is about time that people realized that these new laws affect many people other than just restaurant owners. It appears than an all encompasing smoking ban is going to pass here in Suffolk County, New York, now that the county has reached an agreement with the restaurant industry.

    Fortunately, some of the laws have glaring loopholes. Here is one way around them.

  2. You know, I’m very much for private property rights in principle, but I must admit that I really, really like being able to go to bars and restaurants here in California without having to inhale clouds of noxious smoke, so it’s hard for me to get that upset about these kinds of laws being passed in other states and municipalities.

  3. You’re right, Russ, I certainly could. It’s just that prior to these laws being passed my options in that regard were considerably more limited than they are now (ie. they’re now essentially UNlimited), so for entirely selfish reasons I must admit I prefer the current status quo, despite it being technically against my alleged political principles.

  4. LI, you could simply choose to patronize bars and restaurants that are smoke-free and stay away from bars and restaurants that allow smoking. Or is the law really designed around laziness?

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