Tuesday, January 13, 2004


The success of the PC crowd against such a large group as smokers is rather alarming. The "cost" argument is bogus. Smokers die younger so are less of a burden on the welfare system than others. Considering that smokers are mostly working class, one also wonders where the much-claimed Leftist love of the workers has disappeared to. Whoops! That was a silly thing for me to say. The workers need to be "educated", of course -- and educated "for their own good". Liberty or free-choice is too much for the workers to handle. Liberty and choice is only for the Leftist elite who know best what is good for you. And I suppose it is just stupid and boring of me to note that Hitler had an active anti-smoking campaign too. I don't for one minute believe that smokers should be allowed to inflict their obnoxious habit on non-smokers -- as they once routinely did -- but surely what they do in their own space and in their own time is their business.

Riverside County wants to cut back their skyrocketing workers' compensation insurance costs, and is kicking off the effort by banning smoking for anyone who wears a badge. The sheriff's department has been ordered to no longer hire deputies who smoke and the ban could extend to all offices of county government.

Those in favor of the ban cite the numerous health risks associated with smoking and that the majority of workers complain come from public-safety personnel. "About 17 percent of the people in California smoke, so statistically about 17 percent of the deputies that we would hire without this ban would smoke, and we hope to see somewhere in that range a reduction in workman's compensation claims," Roy Wilson of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

Riverside County isn't the first locality to enact this type of hiring ban _ Florida and Massachusetts have passed similar non-smoking mandates. But these types of bans have civil libertarians fuming, saying what a person does in their own home is their business. More here

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