North Carolina Smoking Ban

North Carolina has passed a law banning smoking from all restaurants & bars (excluding private clubs & cigar bars).  This law should take effect in January of 2010.  Isn’t it an oxymoron that our state would even consider this… since North Carolina was built on tobacco to begin with?

How quickly people forget that North Carolina’s history can be directly attributed to the tobacco market. There are many universities & even whole cities in this state that wouldn’t be here if NC had not been the largest tobacco producing state in the nation over the course of the last century (Duke university is a prime example).

With that said… I do agree that non-smokers should not have to deal with second-hand smoke if they do not want to. But honestly these non-smokers already have that option as they have the FREE WILL to frequent locations that individually choose to ban smoking. There were already numerous restaurants & bars with a non-smoking policy in existence way before our intelligent politicians decided to dream up yet another law restricting the potential profitability of an establishment.

A friend of mine mentioned to me that the tobacco industry is a dying industry… and that may well be true.   But lets look at the reasons why…  Government regulations have killed the tobacco industry more so than anything else. The tobacco industry years ago used to be a free market in which farmers would sell their crops at an auction to various tobacco companies. The government then stepped in and started helping farmers whose tobacco was not up to par… by purchasing tobacco themselves & through price support programs designed to help the farmer. Less than 10 years ago… the government along with the tobacco companies then eliminated the auction system in its entirety and now farmers have to sell directly to the tobacco companies at a price that the tobacco companies set.

The government has done something very similar with the auto industry in recent years.  After forcing increasingly stricter safety standards… fuel economy ratings and the use of electric vehicles… many were shocked that 2 of the largest American car manufacturers went bankrupt this year.  The government then rushed to their aid and threw those companies a lifeline to get them out of the mess that they were in.  Does anyone see a pattern here?

No matter what your opinion is of the smoking ban… you are blind if you believe that more government control of private businesses is a GOOD thing.  A non-smoker can jump for joy at this new law because it gives the false impression that this law is written with the public’s best interest in mind.  This is a complete fallacy as the government does not care about the individual.  The government plays on individual interests in order for it to pass laws giving the system more control of private businesses.

Lets look at a personal example of the auto industry…  Lets say you have a choice between a mint condition 1968 Camaro with a big block V-8 engine or a brand new Honda hybrid vehicle.  Today’s consumer would probably pick the hybrid because they are led to believe its a safer vehicle and the fuel economy would be way better.  Now…  lets say that you know that both of these vehicles are going to be involved in a head on collision and you have to pick the one you would rather be riding in…  I don’t know about you… but I’d pick the old Camaro ANYDAY… as it would plow through that little Honda like a tank.

Can anyone honestly say that our country as a whole is better off today than it was say 20 or 30 years ago?  We are at a point that a criminal now has more rights than a law abiding citizen. We have attempted to sanitize everything around and rid every public place of all possible germs & bacteria to the point that many people can become seriously ill by just coming in contact with bacteria that their body would have normally been able to inherently fight off 10 years ago. How is that a progression at all?

The only way to truly know where you are going in the future is to recognize where you have been and learn from it. Pushing change just for the sake of change is no better than just being at a standstill. Sometimes while always looking to change things… you can end up worse off in the end than where you started.

James Hetfield said it best 20 years ago… You can do it your own way… If it’s done just how I say….

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