Letter to the Editor of the Register-News Regarding Illinois’ Smoking Ban

I am writing this primarily in response to the recent letter from Jerry Merritt regarding smoking and the upcoming ban by the communist state of Illinois.

To begin, Merritt does an excellent job of using imagery to paint smokers as horrible people akin to “factory boilers, pacifier users, and druggies”. Also, being dressed well and going out after church has nothing to do with the smoking law, but it is more good creative writing. Kudos for creative writing.

Now, to address a few incorrect points made in that letter:

Non-smokers have no “right” to be guaranteed a non-smoking environment. I checked, it was nowhere in the Illinois nor United States constitutions.

Everyone does have the choice not to go into a business that allows smoking. If the business loses enough money by allowing smoking (for example, the non-smokers), they will disallow it. Apparently that is not the case.

Children fall into the same position. They have their decisions made for them (in theory) by their responsible parents or guardians. I agree they shouldn’t be around smoking, but they are their parents responsibility. The parents shouldn’t put them in that situation.

Similarly, smokers have no “right” to smoke at any given location. I like some local restaurants that don’t allow smoking. I don’t whine and cry about it. When we’re done eating and chatting, I just go outside and have a smoke. No big deal.

However, there are some times where I want to munch and have a smoke like at a sports bar. Obviously the business understands that its patrons like to have a smoke (pipe, cigar, etc.) and allows it. Some others don’t allow smoking, and I wouldn’t go there on those occasions.

The bottom line is that there is no right to smoke or not smoke. Everyone has a choice to smoke or not smoke and the right to support any business either way the owner decides to run their business.

This law is simply another way for the government to intrude on our personal lives and business decisions. If the state would just declare communism, they could control things like they want in our private lives and we couldn’t stop them. Oh wait…

“Nope, no smoking in bars! And pretty soon, no drinking and no talking!” – Eddie Izzard