No "Butts" About It

Essay by RachaelECollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2008

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Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is trying to pass a law banning smoking in bars and restaurants state-wide. He argues that this law would be beneficial to everyone because of the "health effects and high public cost" of second-hand smoke. He believes that the health risks of exposure to second-hand smoke are apparent and compelling enough to pass a law that would eliminate this risk in public facilities throughout the state. Thomas A. Firey and Jacob Grier, the authors of the article "Please Do Smoke, If You Like," an essay that appeared in the Washington Post on January 20, 2008, disagree with Governor Kaine. Firey and Grier state that the findings on health effects of second-hand smoke only address the effects of long term, regular exposure. They do not believe that this effects the occasional exposure we could get in a bar or restaurant. I, however, completely agree with Virginia and other states passing a law to ban smoking.

Many states, including Colorado have already passed similar laws and have proven that they are in fact beneficial.

Firey and Grier believe that Kaine does not give enough information to back up his opinion. Kaine states that there are significant health risks, but does not get more specific than that. They doubt that the law will significantly change the current mortality trends in the state of Virginia. They believe that non-smokers do not have the right to force smokers to live according to their preferences-if they do not want to be exposed, they can go to a smoke-free restaurant of bar. They believe that if the law changes, we as a nation are on our way to becoming a non-liberal society, a belief that we have always had pride in.

I myself am a smoker, but I do not agree with...