"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will
of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that the will to be rightful must
be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal
law must protect and to violate would be oppression"
One year ago New York City's mayor, Mike Bloomberg, and his city council approved an amended Smoke-Free Act to include no smoking in clubs, bars, bingo parlors, bowling alleys and restaurants. Now, the question is, "Where CAN you smoke?" This legislation was put into effect to help provide employees (bartenders, waitresses, etc.) who work in bar, club, or restaurant type environments with clean air. Yet studies show that the drop in the number of patrons due to the enforced Act has cut business profits up to 40% causing businesses to lay off those workers that the Act intended to protect.
(Jones) A survey conducted by the New York Post found that thirty-four of the fifty bars and restaurants polled have shown a drop in business. The rationale behind the City Council's decision was that tests show second-hand smoke is deadly and can "poison" other people. (Casison)
Smokers' rights have always played second to the rights of the non-smokers. First, former President Clinton decided that smokers just weren't paying enough for cigarettes. Consequently, the cost of cigarettes went up almost 50% in some places. Then smoking was taken out of all Federal buildings. Smokers were forced to congregate outside to puff away. Shortly afterwards, smoking was banned from virtually all workplaces. Some companies were even nice enough to put out a couple of benches and a table or two for the smokers to sit at (woopie!). Now New York City (and the rest of non-smoking America) is burdened by...