Originally Posted by suzzer99
But what about the lowest common denominator concept? A majority of businesses in a given industry might want better workplace safety laws. But they're afraid they'll lose out in terms of profitability to companies who violate those laws. And don't give me the idea of the companies of violent those laws will go out of business – because it just doesn't work that way. Otherwise sweatshops would never exist. Most consumers don't give a crap where there are items comes from, they just look at the price.
So what happens is everybody gets together and decides on a base set of rules, and then the companies that do things right are punished.
Now extend this concept to the idea that a majority of citizens want to eat and hang out in a smoke-free environment. But all bar and restaurant owners are too scared to be the first to prohibit smoking. So years and years go by and nothing happens.
Also you have a whole cultural stigma where people can't imagine a bar without cigarette smoke. It seems like a fern bar or something really really lame. I thought the exact same way when the smoking bans when in CA. I thought they were stupid and were going to ruin some of my favorite bars. At first I kind of felt they did. But now I love them and enjoy going into these places so much more. And I really notice it when I go to state/country that allows smoking in restaurants or bars. The food and beer doesn't taste as good.
Sometimes people need a little nudging to get over cultural stigmas. Like not serving black people.
Fast-forward to today. We have smoking bans (for 15 years in CA). They haven't hurt anyone's business. If anything they've helped business by bringing out more people who wouldn't have set foot in a bar before the ban. There's a bar near me called Hermosa Saloon that still lets people smoke surreptitiously. Two or three of the girls in our group refuse to set foot in the place. So you can't tell me smoking bans have destroyed business in any way.
Therefore no one has really had their rights violated. So while I'll grant you that the theory part of your argument that property owners rights have been violated might hold some water, the harm part of your argument is complete horse pucky.
This is the first post you have made on the topic that makes sense. There is a good deal of validity to the idea that some bars WANTED a smoking ban but wouldn't act for fear of losing business. I know a number of owners who feel exactly that way. That does NOT however excuse the violation of the OTHER owner's property rights. Period. IF a majority of BAR OWNERS felt this way then a reasonable solution is the one mylonsd proposed. Make smoking bars get a license and limit the number of licenses so that everyone is happy. THAT is the TRUE pragmatic solution to this. I actually think a hybrid approach between his plan and mine (air quality standards based) would be the BEST solution. If you are truly a pragmatist on the topic than hopefully you'd be more inclined to support one of these solutions that still is a burden on private property owners but is not nearly as onerous.
(btw I left off the "slippery slope" part of your post because I agree, it isn't about the chipping away of FURTHER rights to me.. this is simply about THIS battle and why THIS is bad lawmaking.)