Eminent Domain Stuff
New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Good News For Freedom...Potentially
Could CT's smoking ban be struck down?
Restaurants and bars owners are subject to the ban. Casinos and private clubs - such as golf and yacht clubs, veterans’ club halls and orders of the Moose - are not.So, we have a ban on smoking...but only in certain establishments. Attorney General Blumenthal would have you believe that this is a simple case of "line drawing" by the legislature. After all:
The ban is titled "An Act Concerning Second-Hand Smoke in Work Places." It purports to protect employees in particular against the effects of secondhand smoke, which, during a typical eight-hour shift, can amount to ingesting up to 20 cigarettes' worth of nicotine. On that, both sides seem to agree.
What is at odds is the state's selective imposition of the ban.
Attorney Jan C. Trendowski, representing a band of bar owners, said the smoking ban has created a dramatically unequal playing field.
"Our ban allows smoking in a lot of restaurants and a lot of bars, and bars smoking in a lot of other restaurants and a lot of other bars," Trendowski said. "The only difference is who owns them."
What we have before us on the table is a perfectly justifiable effort by the legislature to address a public health issue.Really? So what about the employees of casinos and private clubs? Aren't their lungs important too? And where is the evidence that 2nd hand smoke is harmful. Yes, it can exasperate asthma and other respiratory problems. But does it actually lead to cancer or primarily cause lung disease in non-smokers? I don't think that question has been answered. Combine that with the fact that the people of CT have not specifically delegated to the legislature the power to 'address public health issues' and all this really amounts to is the government imposing its will on private business owners. Nothing new, but something that should be fought at every turn.