Bar smoking ban has flawed logic

By By Ross Solomon

By Ross Solomon

I’m going to let you all in on a little-known secret. I’m not supposed to say this, but I like you people, so…here it goes: Not all bars used to allow smoking before the Jan. 1 smoking ban. That’s right, chums. Did you want to go to a bar before 2009, but just absolutely hated the smell of burning cigarettes all around you? Why didn’t you just take your smug little behind to a bar that had already banned smoking? This new law, a modification of the long-standing Utah Indoor Clean Air Act, is just another example of whiny Utahns forcing their beliefs onto everyone around them.

“B-but…think of the children!” some might scream. Sorry, folks, but kids haven’t been allowed in pubs or taverns for as long as I’ve been alive.

“I…but! It’s, um…smoking is a hazard to your health!” Yes, excellent detective work there, genius. Unfortunately, throwing the book at smokers isn’t going to make them stop smoking. Can’t smoke in their favorite bar? They’ll go smoke somewhere else. Next!

“Ah…um…I don’t li8212; My, um…well, my clothes always smelled like smoke when I went to bars!” As I said before, Why didn’t you just go somewhere else? Did anyone force you to go to Piper Down or Saints and Sinners? No? Then you might want to stop talking, because you’re making yourself look like an idiot.

“Gah. Well, I…ooh, oh goodness. Haven’t you, um, heard how dangerous secondhand smoke is?” Yes, yes…dangerous. Why don’t you try that argument after you finish your cheeseburger? Sure, I can wait. Would you like some more Baconaise for your McNuggets? You want more? But that’s all I have!

According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 3,000 nonsmokers in the United States die every year from lung cancer as a result of secondhand smoke. Three thousand! What a big number! But while we’re talking about deaths, let’s look at some other statistics, shall we?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that over 35,000 deaths occur annually from gunshot wounds. Seems like an awfully big number, considering how adamant most Utahns are about keeping their “God-given right” to bear arms.

Even better than that, want to know how many people die from obesity? According to the Obesity Research Center at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, there are more than 280,000 obesity-related deaths every year. Seems like that number kind of puts that secondhand smoke-related deaths statistic to shame.

Oops! Looks like all of you who supported this law’s enactment didn’t really care about everyone else’s health. You were obviously just in it for your own selfish gains. That doesn’t really matter anymore, right? As long as you get to comfortably go to your bar of choice, everything is peaches and cream.

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