On the value of indoor smoking bans…

While I’m not sure that the government should be telling folks what to do in their own businesses, I do think that the indoor smoking ban is a good thing, for the smokers.

I should say that I don’t smoke.  It’s not that I really have an ethical objection to it.  I don’t think smokers are evil people trying to stink up my nice clean air with their cigarettes, it’s just that I don’t do it.

That doesn’t mean I don’t like to take what I call a “second hand smoke break” with my smoking pals.  The thing about taking a smoke break is that you get a chance to simply stand around outside and not do anything.  You aren’t rushing off to conquer the world.  You’re unplugged, hanging out with folks who have a few minutes to chat.

It’s nice, it’s simple, it’s what folks used to do all the time.  Before most women worked outside the home, they’d gather in one another’s kitchens to drink coffee and chat about life.  The men would congregate outside, taking a break from yard work and they’d have some small talk.

It seems to me that forcing smokers outside does something similar.  It gives smokers a chance to chat while getting their fix — now, if only we had a mechanism to make non-smokers do the same… maybe the world would be a better place.

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