Cumberland Times-News

December 31, 2013

Smoking ban is needed, no matter how it was enacted

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— In his Dec. 24 reader commentary, Delegate Gary Howell expresses his frustration that a smoking ban was enacted without outside approval (“Unelected board should be held accountable”).

Mr Howell states, “It is unconscionable that an unelected board can write an ordinance without anyone being held accountable by the voters. The current system is contrary to the very liberty our veterans have fought to preserve.”

I argue that some things are so glaringly obvious that they need no outside approval. Our veterans sought to protect U.S. citizens from harm. The smoking ban does the same thing — it protects innocent people from activities that can lead to injury or death.

If people want to engage in activities that endanger their own lives, I say let them. But no one has a right to endanger the lives of others. No one has the right to burn carcinogens in the immediate vicinity of other people.

The smoking ban is a no-brainer. Only an idiot would oppose the measure, no matter how it was enacted.

Joe Harris Jr.

Madison, Wis.