[FoRK] Smoking

Mark Day mark_s_day at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 13 10:14:12 PDT 2005


> I object to public health rules based on majority rules.  I'm 
> not sure who
> should be the one deciding on a public health hazard, to be 
> honest, but it
> certainly isn't our government as it exists now.  

So would it be accurate to say that you don't think public health is in the
same category as other laws and regulations?  After all, one can object to
any particular law or regulation as a bad one without necessarily meaning
that the governmental apparatus is illegitimate.  You seem to be leaning
more in favor of saying that there's some kind of limitation here, perhaps
constitutional or quasi-constitutional, that means that the majority-rules
apparatus should just stay away from smoking -- and perhaps other similar
areas?

> For disclosure, I am
> pro-drug legalization, &c... I think the harm tobacco causes 
> is certainly
> less than, say, alcohol, and even less than fatty foods 
> (though, for the
> purposes of this argument, I think the 2nd-hand effects of 
> fatty foods are
> less harmful).

We can each have our own opinion about what is or isn't a good approach in
this area.  I'm more interested in the process question of how we
legitimately reconcile different positions into law and regulations.  I'm
still a little unclear whether the smoking-advocates are basing the argument
on personally not liking the rules (understandable but not very interesting)
or claiming an overreach of government into an illegitimate area
(interesting but not yet very understandable).

--Mark




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