The Bangor Maine city council recently approved a smoking ban in vehicles where kids are present. This is just another step further of government taking more rights away. It’s obvious that the anti-smoking activists simply want smoking banned across the board, but they know they cannot get it banned outright all at once. They need to go in steps.
First, you get smoking banned in the workplace, then restaurants, then private clubs, then cars with children, then all commercial property, including apartments and so on and so until finally there is no place left for smokers to smoke. This is obviously the end goal.
Why does the government care so much about smoking? Activists claim it has to do with protecting workers and customers of businesses where smokers might patron and it’s a public health issue. I think that because state and local governments are wanting to take over healthcare through different universal healthcare proposals, such as Vermont’s Catamount Health, there is strong pressure on legislators and city councilors to reduce risks that citizens take in order to reduce the costs of running a government sponsored healthcare system.
Combining your government and your healthcare provider is extremely risky if you value your freedoms to engage in behavior that society may feel is risky such as smoking, sex, fatty foods, high-carb foods, caffeine, drinking, over-eatting, driving, travel, sports, and any number of other things people do on a regular basis that increase your risk to needing health services. With Catamount Health launching I would expect that there will be more and more restrictions on what we can do in Vermont. I for one do not want my insurance company being in charge of what I can and cannot do.
Unfortunately, when many people hear that government will “give” them something for free or at lower cost, they are quick to take it not realizing that anytime you give up a certain responsibility (such as getting your own healthcare coverage) there are almost always some rights given up. There’s ALWAYS a cost… or there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
The big question is at what point will citizens put their foot down and say enough is enough? Hopefully, not before it’s too late.