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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Is a longer life a better life? A different perspective on the Saskatchewan workplace smoking ban

In a press release last week, Saskatchewan Labour Minister Rob Norris announced that as of May 31, 2009 a workplace smoking ban will take effect in the province.

"Our government strongly believes in protecting the health and safety of Saskatchewan people," Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris said. "A workplace smoking ban ensures residents will not be exposed to second-hand smoke as a result of employment."

Under the existing smoking regulations, workplace smoking is allowed in certain designated smoking areas only. When the workplace smoking ban takes effect in May, smoking will be prohibited in all workplace buildings and vehicles.

"The workplace smoking ban brings our province in line with other jurisdictions in Canada and around the world that have prohibited smoking in the workplace," Norris said. "It is consistent with our government's goal of a stronger Saskatchewan and a better life."

A better life?

My idea of a “better life” is one in which I’m free to make my own choices and take my own risks. If tobacco enriches my life, in what way is this workplace smoking ban making my life better?  What Norris likely means by a “better life” is a “longer life,” which is a grotesque attempt at moral equivalence.

In For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health, libertarian author and Reason Magazine senior editor Jacob Sullum makes the case that individuals routinely make the decision to trade longevity for pleasure in pursuit of a better life, and should be allowed to do so.

Given this, and if properly ventilated, designated smoking areas can eliminate the nuisance of second hand smoke, why would the Saskatchewan government follow the wrong-headed example of other Canadian and international jurisdictions?

Posted by Matthew Johnston on November 30, 2008 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink

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Comments

A smoking ban is a good thing because your co-workers don't have to inhale your smoke. It has been in effect in Ontario for a while and it's wonderful for non-smokers. Get with it, Saskatchewan!

Posted by: Herman | 2008-11-30 4:34:27 PM


A smoking ban is a good thing because your co-workers don't have to inhale your smoke. It has been in effect in Ontario for a while and it's wonderful for non-smokers. Get with it, Saskatchewan!
Posted by: Herman | 30-Nov-08 4:34:27 PM

Do you drive a car? Why should someone have to breath (hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, etc.)emissions from your cars tailpipe? So if you want workplace smoking banned yet drive a car you are nothing but a hypocrite. Get with it, Herman.

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-11-30 4:51:25 PM


Don't ventilated, designated smoking areas accomplish your desire to avoid second hand smoke?

What happened to reasonable accommodation?

And what about private property rigths: My business, my building, my rules?

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-11-30 5:03:41 PM


A smoking ban is a good thing because your co-workers don't have to inhale your smoke.
Posted by: Herman | 30-Nov-08 4:34:27 PM

So government enforced behaviour control is a "good thing"? Gee, define what is, and what isn't, for the "greater good" would you please?
because I'm just not that up on communist theory...

Maybe we should ban spoons...after all they make people fat right?

Posted by: JC | 2008-11-30 5:17:59 PM


I see from the first two comments the continued failure to grasp the basic concept of freedom. Any work place with a designated smoking area is just that and means that whose opposed to smoking have the choice not to enter. As for vehicles it is the same when the only occupant is the driver who smokes.

But I realise that facts mean nothing to the anti-smoking hysteria where exhaust fumes and any other form of smoke gets a pass.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-11-30 5:52:05 PM


After nearly a year in Illinois, after the hoopla and novelty have worn off, and the ban fanatices have been long moved on to other locations (yours?) many small neighborhood bars are ignoring the ban to accomodate their regular customers. There have been no customer or worker complaints. Like poker machine raids, 2 or 3 bars, out of over 2,000 in Illinois have been ciited, mostly in small towns where real crime is not an issue.

Posted by: Bob | 2008-11-30 8:33:49 PM


These professional busybodies never quit.When one cause has been ridden into the ground they simply change horses and ride for another cause. They have tasted the power and all know what is good for you. You will comply. We are slowly turning into a nation of sheep. Land of the free,..what a joke.

Posted by: peterj | 2008-11-30 10:02:43 PM



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