Smoking ban editorial missed key points

Your editorial on the smoking ban totally missed the points of the Smoke-Free Coalition’s findings. First of all, the proposed ordinance is not infringing on the “personal freedoms” of whether a person should or should not smoke. This will always be up to the individual. And, as a legislative body, we will not be considering if the “government should … step in and declare it illegal for an individual to engage in those risks.” This is still a personal freedom and choice. You also missed the point when you said state restaurants have already declared “certain sides of a restaurant as smoking and non-smoking sections.” Have you not looked at the facts as it relates to health risks and “smoking sections” in a facility?

You were correct that “Americans are given personal freedoms and privileges to accept some risks to their health as long as they are not directly affecting those around them.”

This is the essence of our proposal that you have seemed to again overlook.

Secondhand smoke in public facilities does exactly what you profess should not happen – one individual’s behavior directly affecting those around them and, in this case, the scientifically researched health risks of secondhand smoke to patrons and employees of public facilities.

Finally, you again missed the point when you stated, “the consequences from smoking should be carried by the individual who chooses to engage in it and they should be able to make that choice on their own.” The point is, when an individual’s choice puts deadly toxins in the air for others to breathe in a public place, I ask, whose “personal freedoms” are “under attack?”

Kris Povlsen

Second Ward Alderman

City of DeKalb