kfw, on 02 July 2011 - 06:48 PM, said:
Simon G, on 02 July 2011 - 03:29 PM, said:
dirac, on 02 July 2011 - 03:18 PM, said:
I completely agree with you that the laws are passed for reasons of health, and so that everyone can enjoy public spaces (the latter is the same thinking behind some noise ordinances) and not in order to curtail liberties. But there is legal liberty and practical liberty, and as the saying goes, your freedom/liberty ends at the point of my nose.
That all sounds very neat. Except that legal liberty is enforceable by law and a part of statute, practical liberty doesn't actually exist and is personal to the individual's moral code and sensibilities and hold no water in terms of the real world, unless of course they become an illegal act.
Iím not sure I understand all of what youíre saying, but it's intriguing. What do you mean when you say that what I've described as practical liberty doesn't exist? Iím talking about whether smokers are free to smoke in certain public places or non-smokers are free to enjoy them as they wish to, without breathing smoke. Both freedoms, both liberties, canít exist at the same time. The law decides between conflicts like this all the time. There are noise ordinances, upkeep of property ordinances, and ordinances that restrict panhandling and picketing to certain areas. There are eminent domain seizures. There are laws against various types of behavior on the grounds that they cause harm, and as has been pointed out, smoking bans are based on what is believed, rightly or wrongly, to be harm. Do you oppose all these philosophically, is that what youíre saying?
I don't know what more to say, as I think this argument reached an impasse or rather several, several pages ago and if my posts have become silly or specious at times it's due to frustration if nothing else.
For the record, I support bans on smoking in enclosed spaces, work spaces and places where smokers & non smokers mix whilst inside. I do think the abolution of smoking rooms for smokers in workplaces or enclosed places where smokers can specifically go unneccessary, but that's the way it rolls both here and Stateside. In which case open air areas for smokers are only fair, and yes, it's only fair that people who choose to smoke can have a designated area where they can do so - and non smokers have to either accept the momentary unpleasentness of passing by or through, or avoid those areas. And if you feel it's a curtailment of your civil liberties, sorry, tough. Smokers have to accept that their civil liberties to go where they choose are curtailed whilst engaged in the act of smoking. That's my view it's differenet to yours, we'll have to let that be.
I do think that banning smoking in parks is somewhat overkill and rather precious, it's not so in the UK, but I have to say I find many laws in the US rather extreme or indeed unneccessary and in some cases, such as Don't Ask Don't Tell, plain wrong and borderline malicious. Gays & lesbians have been completely legal within the the UK armed forces for over a decade now and it's rather strange that the US would rather someone who's mentally ill or a convicted criminal seeking to escape jail time be allowed to fight over a sound, fit healthy man or woman who just happens to be gay and wants that knowledge to be public.
The arguments that several people have put here that whilst out walking it upsets them greatly to have even a stray whiff of smoke pass their way - well, okay you have every right to not like it. BUT it won't kill you, it's not harmful that diluted, especially with all the other junk in city air, it's a transient moment and it will be over very very quickly.
I'm not getting into another argument over perceived civil liberties, I've made my feelings quite clear on that we'll have to agree to disagree.
The "yoof" question, well, I don't have such a poor view of the very young to think them so facile that they'll smoke because a pop star does (and when was the last time anyone did anything because a ballet dancer did.) Young people smoke as rite of passage often, most don't stick with it. I'd be far more interested to look at societal causes of why people smoke than blame it on Adele, Amy Winehouse or Jay Z. Lack of money, opportunities, education, career options, boredom, frustration - I feel are far more condusive to enticing young people to smoke. Smoking wastes time, it relieves frustration, there's a peer element to it. Smoking is also more prevalent amongst the poor than the middle to upper classes.
Someone also spoke here about dancers smoking, specifically one dancer who smoked as she became anorexic. Well in weight control cases, especially extreme ones for which the ballet world is famous, I think blaming cigarettes is like blaming the symptom for the disease. Smoking suppresses appetite, it also gives you something to do orally when you should be eating - the culture of thinness is what's the issue here, smoking is just a means to achieve this.
And the issue of role models I've spoken at at length, I have a more lenient approach to how people choose to represent both themselves and their actions and the demands that society should place on them. I do think that Nanarina's original post should have been treated far more censoriously, with a quick swift "none of your business".