After reading about, (and then posting about) the Illinois Senate now taking up the smoking ban issue, I wondered where my State Senator, Larry Bomke (R-Springfield) stood on the issue. Well, a few hours later I got my answer, sort of. I heard Bomke on WMAY radio talking about legislation he has introduced that would ban flavored cigarettes in Illinois. In his comments to the radio station, he said he would like to see a TOTAL ban on ALL cigarettes but he was realistic and knew that wasn’t going to happen. Although he didn’t address the community smoking ban legislation directly, I think I can assume he would be in favor of it given his statements on a total ban.
Now, I really don’t like being around smoke and fully support smoking bans in public places. But a TOTAL ban? No, I don’t think so. That’s going a little too far. I still think smoking is an individual decision as long as it’s not hurting anyone else. I feel that way pretty much about all drugs (including alcohol and tobacco).
Which brings me to a related issue. I’ve been seeing a few comments out in the blogosphere equating bans on public smoking to the ridiculous suggestion by Alaska Senator Ted Stevens that the government needs to regulate the content of cable TV and satellite radio. The general idea being that government should keep its nose out of both. However, these are two separate issues. Smoking in public has a direct effect on anyone in the same room as the smoker. What I watch on TV is nobody’s business and affects no one else. Please stop trying to link these two.