For the record, I hate smoking. I have never done it in my life and never will. Since I play music professionally, I work in some of the smokiest conditions there are. My family abhors the smell of smoke on themselves, or on me when I come home from a gig. I think smoking is a disgusting habit, so it is completely logical that I am totally against the pending statewide smoking ban.
Yes, you read that right. I am against it. As much as I hate smoking, I hate government mandating the way we live our lives even more. Simply put, smoking is a legal activity. If it is so dangerous, then ban it outright. Otherwise, let people choose.
The reason this country is so great is because it was founded on the principles of liberty: to practice any religion one chooses without government dictates, to own a gun, to have the freedom of speech, to... pursue happiness. We pledge our allegiance to a flag that stands for "liberty and justice for all". I guess Governor Doyle and our state legislature just skips that word because to them, liberty is not for all. Just for those who succumb to what behaviors they deem acceptable.
Webster's definition of liberty is awesome. The first definition has five parts and the last one is: The power of choice. The free market, when allowed to be free, solves this entire issue. According to 2007 data, only 19.5% of all Wisconsinites smoke and that number is declining, down from 42% in 1965. There are already plenty of smoke free bars and restaurants, and they are increasing in popularity because smart business owners see that going smoke free on their own can be profitable.
We don't need another law. We need to invoke our own liberty through our own power to choose. If you don't like smoking, go to a no smoking bar. We don't need government to restrict our lives even more, we need government to protect our liberties - our power to choose. If we don't call for them to do so, the next thing they will ban is beer, brats and cheese because they don't think they are healthy. I can see it all now. In the new Doyle Socialist Wisconsin, NFL TV cameras will pan the crowd to show the famed Packer fans wearing their tofu heads.