Friday, October 24, 2008

Veto the Smoking Ban

Talifaitasi Satele

I ask Governor Togiola to please veto the Fono’s bill that will dictate to private businesses on how to address the risks posed by second-hand smoke should it become law. The risks of smoking, like that of bungee jumping or eating a high cholesterol cheeseburger, are well within the control of every individual who may engage in such a risky activity.

The owner can choose not to have smoking on his property or designate a smoking area outside; the employee can choose to work where smoking is prohibited; and, the consumer can choose to socialize where the owner of the property doesn’t allow smoking. The important word here is “choose”, and in the case of smoking on private property, it is clear everyone has a choice.

This doesn’t warrant government intervention, and it is a clear violation of our private property rights. Should the ASG succeed in dictating to businesses on how to control smoking on their own property, then we shouldn’t complain when the Fono finds it necessary to intrude into our very homes on such a matter.

And what of other behaviors where we take risks on daily basis? Sex, eating fatty foods, swimming, climbing coconut trees, playing sports, etc.? Do they fall within the purview of the Fono as well? Is this the proper role of government?

The answer is no, and the governor should lead the Fono in addressing the dangers of smoking without having to violate our individual rights.


At 8:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's too late in many areas. Bans have already spred to rental housing, private cars, and outdoor activities in many areas. the bans themselves are worse than any cancer known.


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