The Dec. 11 editorial "Stub It Out," in support of smoking bans in bars and restaurants, signals yet another regrettable step in the rise of the nanny-state. What ever happened to freedom of choice? No one is forced to frequent or work in establishments where patrons smoke. If, as The Post asserts, "there is growing evidence that more people will frequent restaurants and bars when a smoking ban is in place," nonsmoking establishments will proliferate. Hospitality workers will thus have choices, as will patrons, as to whether they wish to expose themselves to secondhand smoke.Indeed, I'd say it's far worse.
Furthermore, The Post's analogy to poisoned food is silly and specious. Surely many people frequent a restaurant to enjoy a cigar after a nice dinner or smoke cigarettes while having a few beers. How many people do you know who go to a restaurant of their own volition to be poisoned?
Yes, we get it: Smoke is not good for you. However, it may not be nearly as harmful as the systematic asphyxiation of the right to exercise free will.
KENNETH A. COHEN
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
A letter writer responds to a Washington Post editorial: