Colorado, as with many other states and various municipalities nationwide, has added more regulation to prohibit vaping. This one is an update (signed by the governor May 29, 2019) to amend the Clean Indoor Air Act we’ve had here since 2006.
The Colorado ban now makes vaping illegal in all places smoking is currently banned, essentially most indoor work or public places including restaurants, bars, hotels, casinos, bowling alleys, and other places and increases the space outside an entrance-way radius from 15 feet to now 25 feet for all smokers and vapers.
Proponents of such bans across this country claim that everyone has a right to fresh air and thus they establish their coercive etiquette upon all. Well, relatively fresh air is abundant in the country. It’s even relatively available in many of our urban areas. Particulates/pollution is part of having a society, but it takes only a few footsteps to get your body away from other people and their “offensive” exhaling habits. But air clear of smoke or vapors is not really a true right when it violates other people’s actual right to pursue their happiness in places which would otherwise welcome them.
Proponents in my state are also stressing how teen use of e-cigarettes has increased, and they view this as a measure to curb it.
Does second-hand smoke or vapor have negative health effects on bystanders? Does it encourage young people to try it? Neither point matters because neither point is more important than not infringing on property rights.
Far more important and at issue here is once again the violation of property owners to do what they want in their places of business. These bans prohibit most private establishments from having smoking/vaping welcomed. No longer can property owners designate smoking/non-smoking areas within buildings with signs.
Further, discouraging use of any of these products by teenagers should not be a matter the government involves itself with. Neither is the air quality in building (aside from government buildings) any of the government’s business. But government officials make it their business.
Let’s say a tavern was allowed to decide for itself (as it should) to welcome or ban smoking or vaping. Customers can decide for themselves if they will patronize it or not. Likewise, the argument about employees being subject to possibly unhealthy air is also an irrelevant point because they, like customers, can decide whether or not to work there. The permission to smoke or vape should lie with private enterprise, not politicians. A homeowner has the right to not let his guests smoke or permit it when visiting; a business should be no different.
As for cleaner air, people can decide where to work and recreate, and establishments everywhere should have the right intrinsic to their property ownership to welcome them or not. As for teen nicotine and other drug use, it’s a matter for parents, not Big Daddy, to discuss with their children.
Some have claimed it is a matter of the rights of the individual (again that everyone has a right to breathe fresh air argument) when the truth is that everyone can decide for himself what he does with his body, including where he goes to shop, work, and recreate. This is indeed a matter of the rights of the individual, but not as they argue it. It is the rights of the individuals comprising the consumer market, as well as retailers and manufacturers, versus the powers of governmental entities at all levels.
Such “progressive” prohibitions violate the citizens’ right to choose what they engage in and violates the rights of establishments who might like to welcome their use or sell such products. It’s indicative of the dangerous trend started decades ago to look to government to solve perceived social ills. Government overreach now pervades nearly every area of private and professional/commercial life, and all have been accomplished through such spurious rationalizations.
The debate among scientists and researchers rages on as they compare all the various smoking and vaping products to determine what is harmful or which is materially more harmful than another, etc. That information is valuable only to those who want to decide to partake in them or not; the findings are completely irrelevant to the public policy question, that is, the protection of the legitimate rights of the individual.
Again we find the socialistic answer where the populace is valued more highly than the individual. Regulatory measures come into play almost always when a “threat” against the masses is identified. Public health has been wrongfully elevated to a sacrosanct topic against which virtually no one will speak a word. The truth is, there’s nothing “public” about your health. It is entirely the responsibility of each individual
Every regulatory measure regarding smoking and vaping is an affront to the individual and his liberty. The insidious destruction of our rights continues. Freedom and the free market are the solution to vaping and other social problems.