The state Senate gave initial backing to a statewide ban on smoking in public places Monday, but it exempted small neighborhood bars. The exemption covers bars that get less than 25 percent of their profits from food, but it wasn't clear how many would be affected...The Senate also voted to allow smoking in casinos and at racetracks.Opponents are unhappy with the exceptions, and Sen. Dan Grossman said he wouldn't vote for the bill, unless changes are made, which may happen. As for my earlier post about how much authority we want to provide the Government to regulate our bodies, policy analyst James Joyner was in Amsterdam two weeks ago and surveyed the smoking, drug and prostitution scene. He makes this observation:
Yet, when we regulate behaviors we consider vices, we trade substantial freedom for very little gain. ...A policy of social tolerance combined with public education may well be a saner approach.
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