Hitler v. Einstein: Case of the Smoking Bans

I stumbled across an article that was written over a decade ago on Reason Online but is still very relevant. This is a great group that puts out a magazine that is well worth the money a year.


This is from that article:

“The end of the last century saw the birth of two Germans who are among the most famous individuals in history: Adolf Hitler, the bloodthirsty dictator, and Albert Einstein, the peace-loving scientific genius. Both men held strong views about smoking, and it is worth examining their opinions as we approach the end of the current century. This is especially true in light of the bills pending in Congress that would ban smoking in buildings open to the public, raise tobacco taxes by huge percentages, and regulate tobacco as a drug.”

This historical passage I found to be very powerful:

“Smoking has been around for hundreds of years, and it won’t go away, regardless of legislation. The Los Angeles Times recently observed: “Russia once whipped smokers, Turkey beheaded them and India slit their noses. The Massachusetts colony outlawed public smoking in the 1630s, and Connecticut required smokers to have permits in the 1940s. At various times between 1893 and 1921, cigarette sales were banned in North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Iowa, Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois, Utah, Kansas and Minnesota.” Despite such efforts, about a billion people around the world continue to smoke.

Someone tell me why we are wasting our time trying to ban smoking? If it is profitable for a business owner to say “Come here we do not allow smoking,” then he will do that. If it profitable for a business owner to remove meat tainted with germs then they will do that. This is the free-market the market will provide the most efficient outcome.

Why do Democrats support this when legislating your business like this is like legislating your bedroom? It falls under the we disagree with how you do things so you should change it to make us feel better even though we may never go there.

The rest of the article can be found here.


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