Letters: Smoking ban needed

I am disappointed in your editorial on the proposed smoking ban. Apart from a serious grammatical error in sentence two of paragraph four (“Urbana and Champaign boasts…”), it would appear to be reasonable enough. However, that same paragraph raises the old bug-a-boo of choice, and there you are dead wrong. Others have raised this same point in the News-Gazette, and I have refuted it there. Non-smokers do NOT have a choice. Everybody has their favorite dining establishments, and if they allow smoking, as is almost invariably the case, the non-smoking provisions are completely inadequate. Then non-smokers have no choice but to avoid those establishments. For example, Pickles was one of our favorite restaurants, but my wife and I were “smoked out” of there one evening just as our meals were being brought out by the waitress. We left, and haven’t returned – and won’t – until they go smoke free, or until the city imposes a ban on smoking in restaurants. So your argument about the “core ideals” being the “right to choose” and “the right to property” is just a lot of baloney. There is no right to choose in the context of smoking; in fact, smokers impose their unhealthy habit on everybody in their vicinity willy-nilly, and it is the duty of government to protect the innocent from the damaging effects of this egregious habit.

Ed DeWan

retired University staff