Books by A.O. Kime
"Metaphysical realities in America's politically-challenged democracy"
"A sagacious accounting of the Stone Age and the beginnings of civilization"
U.S. colleges and trade schools
Odd combination of directories you think? See 'faces'
A.O. Kime Articles:
Shoofly Village ruins
Stone Age history
Stone Age timelines
Stone Age tools
Dynamics of now
Evil (nature of)
Gift of life
Light (nature of)
Time (nature of)
Curse of science
Int'l Criminal Court
Rule of law
(3rd edition - May 2008) by A.O. Kime
for information on 'renting' this article, see Rent-a-Article
The illogicalness behind no-smoking laws (part I)
- (part II) - (part III)
The right of a household to dictate whether smoking is permitted inside (or not) falls under the category of ‘property rights’. Property rights are a time-honored tradition cherished by virtually everyone. Seemingly though, property rights go deeper than just being a manmade tradition... they seem natural and god-given. In viewing the conduct of most all creatures, nature suggests it. However, to avoid chaos and conflict, mankind felt it necessary to add to this and formulate some rules. These rule were, for the most part, fair and wholeheartedly welcomed. Over the past few decades however, governance has been undoing the very concept... property rights are now but a shadow of its previous self.
Yet, in spirit the vestiges remain. Universally, a stranger in another’s household is highly respectful of the wishes of the owner. Most visitors will not even sit down unless invited… or ask for comforts. People will humble themselves in another’s home… and rightly so. While this suggests just how deep-seated property rights are in the public mind, which also suggests they are natural rights, as natural as the right to breathe, governments have begun to ignore this reality.
Of the roughly 70% of the people who don’t smoke, an unknown percentage are offended by tobacco smoke... the reason, apparently, is because they find tobacco smoke irritating or don’t like its smell. Further, a portion of these now seem to feel secondhand smoke is a threat to their health. This, however, is a result of advocacy science (external website).
On the other hand, many non-smokers have stated cigarette smoke doesn’t bother them at all… largely due to the fact they’ve often been around people who smoked, thus have gotten used to it, or because they are ex-smokers themselves. If that doesn’t explain their indifference, then it must be a case of tobacco smoke not being offensive to some people. However, the percentage of those who are not offended is likewise unknown.
Of the two camps then, nobody knows for sure which is biggest. However we
do know the complaining camp would make the most noise.
In looking into non-smoking regulations, perhaps we should keep it mind people react differently to the various odors which might occur. For example, some people absolutely adore the smell of bacon cooking over a campfire amongst the pines and others the smell of alfalfa hay and horse corrals. For the latter, it's likely because it invokes fond memories. While everyone, to a man it seems, loves the smell of a rose or a baking cake, some odors are universally offense, like exhaust fumes, the smell of sewage or pig pens. Beyond these commonly adored aromas and despised odors… lie the differences. We all have our favorites it seems, while some we might hate more than others might. All the rest, one might say, stalk harmlessly in neutral territory.
Years ago, tobacco smoke didn’t seem to bother non-smokers since complaints were rarely heard. Since purportedly it isn't the case anymore, perhaps this curiosity can be explained. From our understanding of human nature, we must assume a large percentage of complainers are just the ‘me-too’ type... although also duped by advocacy science. Whenever something becomes in vogue, in this case the bashing of cigarettes, although promoted by the media as if in vogue, there are always people jumping on the bandwagon for no other reason than wanting to 'belong'. We see this happening all the time. If the truth be known, probably less than 20% of non-smokers are actually offended by tobacco smoke.
However, it doesn’t matter what percentage of people like the smell of tobacco smoke, what percentage are neutral or what percentage doesn’t. There is a more important issue behind it all.
While catering to the wishes of the majority is invariably prudent for private
businesses, it isn’t always fitting for government. In certain instances,
majority rule is dangerous to the liberties which
others enjoy. It is therefore perfectly apropos for an airline to ban smoking,
or a movie theater, or a stadium, or a restaurant, or a nightclub. That decision
belongs to the operators of those businesses. It is even fitting for a government
to ban smoking inside public buildings… after all, they’re in charge of operating
It is not fitting however, for governments to pass no-smoking laws on behalf of businesses. Nor is it fitting for a public referendum. A public referendum, after all, is majority rule... often at odds with justice.
While the temptation is there to appease the majority, albeit a questionable majority, it is shortsightedness to overlook the rights of businesses. To appease the public at the expense of property rights is flirting with a constitutional crisis.
So what is the recourse for non-smokers? There exists a natural, non-intrusive one (from a legal standpoint). Those non-smokers who are offended by tobacco smoke need only boycott those businesses which allow smoking. If that doesn’t change business policies, then obviously no anti-smoking majority exists. It is amazingly simple because it is based on the law of supply and demand. It is what capitalism is based upon and goes to the very heart of property rights.
Clearly, these no-smoking laws which apply to private businesses opened Pandora’s Box. What’s next? A ban on cowboy hats? Assuredly, if the current laws are allowed to stand, there WILL be something next.
With all the state regulations placed upon businesses, there is little freedom left for most business owners anymore. It’s been hard for them to consider themselves actually the owner. They feel more like a caretaker. Today, with smoking regulations placed atop all the other regulations… what indications of ownership are left? Effectively and collectively today, the state, county and city governments are the real owners. The whole mess, indeed the mockery, resembles communism more than capitalism.
With recourse already available to non-smokers, that is, they can easily take their business to places that don’t allow smoking, plus the fact such non-smoking regulations violate private property rights… what were the legislators thinking?
Are shortsighted legislators and councilmen in the majority? It seems obvious, after all, aside from the fact distastefulness can't be legislated away, since it didn't work for alcohol and it isn't working for drugs, they've put the matter on a collision course with the courts.
Only idiots would consider distastefulness more important than property
rights. It's worse than that however... they shattered the very concept of
property rights, the roots of which go all the way back to the Magna Carta
(1215). Their mental lapses flushed down the toilet 800 years of time-honored
rights. Who are they to say the times call for it? They can't blame the times
however, the times would never call for it.
Or was it because they prostituted themselves for special interests? If they did, then it must be considered a treasonous act. Clearly, unless we consider the passing of unconstitutional laws treason, we'll soon have no rights remaining at all. This proposition should be in vogue, not the simple-minded banishment of smokers being a matter of little import considering the other problems in the world. We owe it to the next generations.
Legislators and councilmen lost faith in free enterprise as well. It, not laws, cater to people. Even the communists finally learned that lesson. Free enterprise is adaptable and goes with the flow whereas laws are rigid and can’t accommodate naturalness. No law can counteract supply and demand... it is above the law. It is similar to the ineffectiveness of trying to make animals obey a law. The futility in trying is continually demonstrated… most notably in America’s imbecilic 30 billion dollar drug war with nothing to show for it.
In the meantime, innocent bystanders die.
It should also be important to understand why people start smoking in the first place. After all, it is one of the most curious of habits. Is society to blame?
Perhaps we can learn something from a process curiously called ‘Genetically
Informed Research’. According to a Science Journal
article written by Sharon Begley of the Wall Street Journal, it involves the
seeking out of biological factors which may be responsible for causing
abnormalities in human behavior such as depression and behavior problems.
Reportedly the idea originally came from ‘smoking apologists’ who believed an
unknown biological factor (factor X) was responsible for smoking and lung
cancer, therefore “smoking would be an innocent bystander”.
While science apparently does not subscribe to that notion (as it applies to smoking), nor does that June 16, 2006 article, nonetheless there is still some truth to it.
At least one reason people start smoking is due to apathy... and it might be the major reason. While there may not be a direct connection between smoking and a factor X, it is highly likely a factor X is responsible for apathetic tendencies which, in turn, causes most people to start smoking. Whether or not it is 'biological' doesn't really matter... only its discovery matters. However despite the conditions later, whether good or bad, the addictive nature of nicotine would then assume the leading role as to why people continue.
So what does this have to do with smoking regulations?
Well, if to some degree apathy can cause people to start smoking, or continue to smoke, then in order to help curb this appetite... shouldn't we be looking for the causes of this apathy? While there are many things which can cause apathetic emotions such as a bad home life, divorce proceedings, the loss of a job, etc., they are usually short-term troubles, whereas constant intrusiveness is a consternation always present. The origins of this 'constant intrusiveness' would be governments... they are like divorce proceedings which never end.
While it has been scientifically proven that a bad home environment has a negative affect on children, a bad social or political environment would be no different… negatively affecting most all citizens. Make no mistake about it... smokers being unduly punished equates to a very negative environment. In this case it is more-so oppressiveness.
The harsh DUI laws are another example. A single person cannot, anymore, celebrate traditionally without living in fear being severely punished. A ‘designated driver’ is just not a viable option for most people… such friends are seldom available. Further, a taxi is either cost prohibitive (for some), awkward or unavailable to those who live in small towns or in the countryside. This oppressiveness causes apathy.
Further, most people can handle their liquor… even that exceeding the legal limit which demonstrates the legal limit is set entirely too low. Only those driving erratically should be taken off the road… otherwise not. So what about the danger of getting hit by a drunk driver? Whether drunk-driving laws are strict or not... legislation only reduces the dangers somewhat, but cannot eliminate them, caution must still be exercised. For example, a law against mugging does not make the public immune from muggers.
When it comes to legislating morals, laws are less effective than a Band-Aid would be for hemorrhaging. The best a law can hope for is a miniscule reduction in a so-called 'social problem'. More likely, as in the case of alcohol and drugs, repressive laws (which in turn creates apathy), increases abuse. An honest study would surely demonstrate there is a higher percentage of drug addicts and alcoholics today than ever before.
Whether in the home or outdoors, carelessness is the root cause of all accidents and tempting fate falls under that category. Victims are often victims because of their own carelessness since laws have little impact on the harsh realities.
Kinder, gentler governments would do more to reduce the number of smokers,
alcoholics and drug addicts than any other measure. It would take several
generations to see the results and to repair the damage however. Russia, as a
result of once being tsarist and then communist, has perhaps the highest rate of
alcoholism in the world and the repercussions will be felt for ages. It will
certainly seem interminable and without change, we will suffer the same fate.
However a kinder, gentler government is not possible with the bulging apparatus
now in place. Objections to 'change' from every quarter of the justice department
should be expected. After all, crime is their employer.
Oppressive laws which don’t make sense are even worse. For example, the definition of ‘drunk’ has been legally established at .08 in some states and .10 in others but only for the convenience of prosecutors. A breathalyzer test is the ‘hard evidence’ they need in order to be more successful in prosecuting. Yet, many of these drivers weren’t ‘drunk’ in the strict sense of the word, nor too drunk to drive. Staggering, slurring one’s words and/or the inability to drive equates to 'drunk'… not legal digits.
The old method of letting a policeman determine whether a driver is too drunk to drive resembles justice far more than breathalyzer tests to improve the batting average of prosecutors. It is clear... such oppressiveness is responsible for the weakened will to live (resignation) and garners nothing less than a higher percentage of drug addicts, alcoholics and smokers.
We should not fear those who party in public places where more likely people would conduct themselves in a socially correct manner. With the overly-strict DUI laws however, instead we should fear people partying more at home. Without peer pressure, more abuse is likely and the dire consequences probably greater. While the current laws may have reduced the DUI fatalities somewhat, this would be offset by other causes of death such as fatal overdoses, murders and other violent crimes.
Partying at home isn't a guarantee someone will continue partying at home either. Likely in worse shape than they would be in a public place, nothing prevents them from driving elsewhere. Laws have no effect on 'total disregard'.
An honest unbiased study should substantiate all of this.
It is not wrong for people, including teenagers, to want to experience life to the fullest... only socially-sidelined congressmen and councilmen would deny this right. It is only they who would find disgusting the fun of others. In order to lower the casualty rate in dangerous activities, albeit to a miniscule degree, creating laws which effectively take the fun out of living is counterproductive and totally unacceptable to most people. Count 'em... who is happy with the direction of government?
So, in seeking out factors which may be responsible for causing abnormalities in
human behavior such as depression and behavior problems, one need not look for
anything biological. Factor X is intrusive governments... making tobacco the
innocent bystander after all.
Last modified: 03/11/16