Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Statewide smoking ban going up in smoke

The Oshkosh Northwestern is reporting tonight that the statewide smoking ban appears to be dead, at least for now. But proponents of such a ban promise to continue their efforts to get a statewide ban passed – and they should.

With more and more states passing such legislation, including our own neighbors, a statewide smoking ban is legislation whose time has come. Sadly, some still don’t get it. One of those who either doesn’t o doesn’t want to is the state Tavern League’s chief executive officer, Pete Madland.

"I think legislators understand this is not just about employee health," the article quotes him as saying. "This is about people’s jobs, people’s businesses, people’s livelihood, and it’s not to be taken too lightly."

In the first place, this is about health – that should be first and foremost. Second, if he’s so concerned about jobs, people’s businesses and livelihoods, you’d think he’d be in favor of a ban that regulates all businesses, not just some. After all, if the ban is in place in all Wisconsin businesses it puts every business on a level playing field, rather than pitting one against the other.

Perhaps what he meant to say was “This is about our members’ businesses and their employees’ jobs and livelihoods.” At least that’s how it seems to me anyway.


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