September 11, 2020: Looking back on this, for perspective, this was an international campaign initiated by the World Health Organization. I think one of the motives was social engineering (curtailing freedoms–taxes, guilt and shame–and wrecking distinctions between private and public) and at the same time, it took the focus off the corporate tobacco additives (The Insider, 1999). In any case, it was international and you can read all about Dr. Brundtland.
Social Engineering – Toronto Smoking Ban – June 1, 2004
This was a very sad week for liberty in Toronto in which our gentle Canadian minds were subjected to harsh command-and-control language. This week, Canadian society descended further in the direction of totalitarian barbarism.
The terminology is wrong. These places are not “public”. Rather, this ban is a further intrusion into private business establishments.
The above article compares the lack of resistance to Waterloo. But Toronto “conformed. They complied. They rolled over.” However, the Toronto Star editorial below mentions earlier “rearguard” action by business owners to delay the ban.
Toronto Star, May 31, 2004
Editorial Opinion: “Enforce smoking ban” *(http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=10 85782209639&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795)
Listen to some of the commanding language in this unpleasant editorial:
“It’s time everybody got the message”
“Obey the law” or pay the stiff fines.
“Hopefully” the ventilated rooms will close too, they say.
Incidentally, the above editorial includes some insightful comments from authorities about how people in this world still get sick and die. It’s a wonder why anyone would want to die – since we live in such a well-managed paradise of a globe in which governments continue their day to day work of relieving our suffering with taxes, fines and prisons.
I don’t mean to shock anyone – or maybe I do – but here is my advice:
Personal responsibility: let people make their own health decisions. Let business owners work out smoking concerns with their customers and employees. Leave people alone to enjoy their lives and their bad habits.
There is an old concept called “peace” – which is what smokers probably seek as much as anyone else. Among Canadian smokers, for example, many come from countries where they have experienced nothing but warfare, tyranny and torture. If you are a special interest group that disagrees with smoking, I suggest that if you want more peace in our society and not less, please express your opinions all you want, but call off your enforcers and let people enjoy their peace and privacy.
If you live in Toronto or if something similar is happening in your area, and if you disagree with such bans, then please write your local politicians, write your local newspapers, and express your beliefs openly.
Also see: Smoking, Class And The Legitimisation Of Power by Sean Gabb