From the New England Journal of Medicine, May edition, comes an intersting article from the mouth of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who began their attack on smokers in the early 90’s and have funded most of the Anti-Tobacco/Lobbying efforts.
"In the absence of direct health risks to others, bans on smoking in parks and beaches raise questions about the acceptable limits for government to impose on conduct. In 2008, legal scholar Robert Rabin, the former program director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Tobacco Policy Research and Evaluation Program, commented, “We should not lose perspective on the question of how restrictive a society we want to create — that is, how far we want to go in reducing individual autonomy, including what can be perceived as self-destructive behavior.”5 This question should be central as we pursue the critically important goal of reducing rates of smoking."
How far is too far? Too far is not allowing people to make lifestyle choices; working or smoking in a bar and restaurant that is privately owned, smoking outside at beaches and parks, when there clearly is no health hazards outdoors, not having smoking areas at airports, not being able to smoke 20 feet from a doorway, the list goes on and on.
It is not just about smoking it is also about what we eat and drink. Should all fast food restaurants be banned because our society is so obese? Should anything with Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, be banned? Food with high fructose be banned? Beer, wine and hard liquor be banned?
While smoking, eating and drinking on all on the health nannies list to control either by adding a "sin" tax or an outright ban, what has happened to the power of the people to make their own choices? How far is too far? When will we say enough!