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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

FROM THE HEART: Part II

On, March 8th, 2011, a date on which the International Women’s Day coincided with the date that the City of L.A. was scheduled to extend smoking bans to outdoor patios and spaces surrounding restaurants, we brought you the thoughts of one young woman, Juliette Tworsey, who lives in L.A. Juliette explained how the bans affect her personally and directly.



Today we bring you a follow-up on Juliette’s thoughts as she takes her specific experiences and applies them to a more general analysis of the smoking ban on the lives and leisure of the ordinary people who are affected.


FROM THE HEART: Part II

My personal experience with the Smoking Bans

By Juliette Tworsey

De Facto Tobacco Prohibition: Direct and Indirect Consequences

Few crusaders in the anti-tobacco movement take the time to consider many of the unintended consequences that arise as a result of singling out a significantly large minority for increased restrictions. They say that smoking bans and prohibition will not have any negatives effects on the economy, and that no, there have not been any deleterious social effects on the faction of the population that is being singled out.

Now, I am no economist and I am not going to attempt to explain the definitions of inputs vs outputs or how they affect the economy in scientific terms, but there are a couple of things that should be glaringly obvious to anyone who dares to think outside of the ‘politically-correct’ box when it comes to the issue of smoking and prohibition:

1) If you exclude 20-25% of the population from taking part in the overall economy (emphasis on the hospitality industry) via behavioral modification and exclusion by force, how is that NOT going to have an effect on the economy in aggregate? Just because we don’t always frequent the same establishments, does not mean that your non-smoking establishment will be exempt from the resulting fallout. The loss of businesses where smoking was allowed, along with the corresponding loss in jobs, has an effect of the community as a whole. Many charity fundraising events are affected, property values deflate, and the unemployment line increases, thus putting more strain on already strained public services. The taxes that these venues generate directly affect the health of your local and state economy. When your neighbor’s “smoking allowed” business closes down the street, it is not just their business that is affected. Average folks and small business owners don’t need a scientific paper or “study” to state the obvious: When you interfere with the self-correcting forces of the free market, everyone ends up paying in some manner or another.

2) Again, if 20-25% of the population are forced to modify their everyday behavior almost overnight by not going out to restaurants, bars, concerts, community events, and parks as frequently as they once had, how can there NOT be any social repercussions from such forced isolation? The most egregiously affected in this situation are the elderly, the single, the poor, the disabled, the un-employed, those who suffer from depression, etc… However, these are not the only groups to be affected. What about non-smokers? Aren’t they too affected by this social segregation?

One can only wonder about all of the lost opportunities for friendship to be made via exposure to new acquaintances that span our many cultural and class factions that now many never take place due to the segregation and isolation of a relatively large segment of the population. One also has to wonder about living in an intolerant society such as this and how it contributes to increased animosity, as well as a lack of understanding and proper communication with one another. It doesn’t take a social scientist to tell us that there are bound to be many deleterious social effects that follow the stigmatization of smokers, as is always the case with the marginalization of any minority.

To the anti-smoking bishops of Neo-healthism we say, prove to us that there are NOT any grave and un-intended consequences that result from smoking bans and anti-smoker campaigns. We ask them to be honest. And if that honesty ever manifests itself, we will wait for an apology for all of the harm that was caused.

To learn more about Juliette Tworsey and her band “Firebug”, we encourage you to visit their website at:
http://www.firebugmusic.com/

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