[dk] En trist dag

Suk. Smøl. Tag jer nu sammen, og få os ud af den her ulands-tilstand. Please?

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Forslaget vil bringe Danmark en lille smule tættere på at være et totalitært samfund, hvor staten bestemmer alt. På offentlige arbejdspladser må de for min skyld gerne forbyde rygning. Men hvis et privat firma vil tillade rygning, så er det deres egen sag. Hvis nogle medarbejdere ikke kan lide det må de arbejde et andet sted.
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Enig Lau. Ingen kan ved deres fulde fem mene, at private virksomheder, restauranter, caféer, barer og lignende ufrivilligt skal have trukket en dansk forbudshat nedover hovedet. Helt fint hvis nogle virksomheder, caféer og restauranter af egen fri vilje indfører rygeforbud - det skal blot ikke dikteres af det offentlige!
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... og ingen kan ved deres fulde fem mene at private virksomheder ufrivilligt skal have forbud mod at sælge fordærvede madvarer eller undlade at have toiletter eller have loftet til at falde ned. Face it, selvfølgelig regulerer vi vores omgivelser så det at gå på cafe eller købe mad i et supermarked er en sikker oplevelse. Et rygeforbud er ikke anderledes.
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Og du mener ikke, at der er væsentlige forskelle i, at sælge fordærvede fødevarer, kontra det at lade voksne mennesker (in casu: kunderne) selv bestemme hvordan de ønsker at leve deres hårdtbeskattede liv - uden Moder Samfunds store tykke moralske pegefingers indblanden? Jeg agiterer ikke for et fuldstændigt autonomt samfund - men jeg vil til hver en tid foretrække <b>selv</b> at bestemme hvordan jeg ønsker at leve mit liv. Denne diskussion er politisk.
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Det handler ikke om den enkeltes ret til at ryge, men om den enkeltes ret til at forurene andres omgivelser og de fælles resourcer med beviseligt sundhedsfarlige stoffer. For at illustrere forskellen: 1) Man må tygge snus alt det man vil, fordi det ikke ufrivilligt udsætter andre for giftstoffer. 2) Man må heller ikke sidde og fylde luften med asbestpartikler eller en giftgas, fordi det netop ufrivilligt udsætter andre for giftstoffer. Du må selv bestemme hvordan du ønsker at leve dit liv, men det bliver nødt til at foregå inden for rammerne af hvad der ikke skader andre mennesker. Det er det, der er grænsen. Du må heller ikke slå andre ihjel fordi det er sådan du vil leve dit liv, vel? Rygning er uheldigvis til stor skade for dine omgivelser, både på kort og på langt sigt. Beklager. Alkohol, koffein og sukker er alle laster der ikke skader omgivelserne, så derfor ser du ikke et lovforslag der forbyder disse på offentlige steder. Nikotin i form af røgtobak har desværre den uheldige egenskab at det går ud over omgivelserne, og bliver derfor nødt til at blive reguleret på denne måde.
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En privat arbejdsplads er ikke "fælles resourcer". Det er ejerens resourcer. Jeg har ikke ret til at bestemme om andre må ryge i deres eget hjem. Jeg har heller ikke ret til bestemme om en ejer af en bar må ryge i sin egen bar eller lade sine kunder ryge. At man ikke ufrivilligt må udsætte andre for giftstoffer kan vi hurtigt blive enige om. Og ufrivilligt er kodeordet. Jeg ryger ikke selv og synes ikke er det er specielt rart at være passiv ryger. Men nogle gange er jeg frivilligt passiv ryger, fx i et privat hjem eller på en café eller lign. Hvis jeg ikke kan lide det må jeg bare gå. Det er mig selv der vælger at blive og "tage skade".
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Jarkko Laine

I must chime in here (sorry for the language chosen, my Danish is a bit rusty). En privat arbejdsplads er ikke “fælles resourcer”. Det er ejerens resourcer. Yes, and the owner has certain responsibilities for the employees. A recent study showed that many small construction companies totally neglected the work safety of their employees here in Finland. Something as evident as providing a helmet for the employees was not considered worthwhile. The thing is, that's illegal, for a good reason. Accidents at work cause millions and millions of extra costs for the society each year. And this brings us to secondary smoking at work, because it has exactly the same traits. It causes employees who have chosen health instead of smoking to give up both because some of their co-workers (maybe the owner) has chosen her freedom to drag on is worth more than others' right to fresh and clean air. The argument of free choice is a strawman, too, btw. Hvis nogle medarbejdere ikke kan lide det må de arbejde et andet sted. Oh c'mon. People can't often select their workplaces because of this, much less leave a job they have (although they perhaps should). If given a choice (all other things being equal), how many non-smokers would choose a job where people smoke inside over one with clean air? I highly doubt very many. So much for the freedom of choice. Consider this: in the other end of the scale we have the inconvenience of some people because they have to go out to have their doses. In the other we have a) the health of many people who are, often against their free will, forced to breath the smoke of these free individuals, AND, as a consequence of a), b) millions and millions of extra, unnecessary costs for the society, insurance companies, etc. Which one do you think weighs more?
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Hi Jarkko. I'll respond in English, no worries. Some people like to smoke, and I don't think it is right to use force to make them stop. If you want people to stop smoking, you are free to try to convince them if they want to listen to you. Sending a health police after them and jailing people who are voluntarily smoking on private property is violating their individual rights. "If given a choice (all other things being equal), how many non-smokers would choose a job where people smoke inside over one with clean air? I highly doubt very many." Two companies - completely identical with the one exception that one does not having smokers employed doesn't happen in the real world. But if they did, one would probably attract more smokers and the other more non-smokers. But I don't see where you're getting at with this. In a lot of work places, there are separate areas for smokers, so that they can smoke and non-smokers can avoid the smoke. "a) the health of many people who are, often against their free will, forced to breath the smoke of these free individuals" Wait a minute, who is getting forced against their free will? Most people voluntarily chooses to work because they want the money. People don't have a positive right to work at a certain workplace. More costs for insurance companies? They should set their rates accordingly. For instance it is usually more expensive to insure a $20000 boat against theft and vandalism than a $10000 boat. You pay a higher premium, but then the insurance company has higher costs in case of theft and vandalism. In a free market non-smokers are not forced to pay for the consequences of the bad health of smokers as is the case today in collectivized public health systems. The welfare states creates some bad moral hazard situations. But if the market can freely set the price of health insurance it will most likely be more expensive for a smoker to buy health insurance. Just like with other insurances - because the insurance company has higher costs if their clients are unhealthy. More costly to society? Do you mean the state? Well is the welfare state system more important than the freedom of human beings? Why not just kill off everyone that's too costly then? BTW it's interesting, this whole thing where the state tells you how you should lead a healthy life according to their norms were also popular in the 1930's: http://constitutionalistnc.tripod.com/hitler-leftist/id1.html I want to buy one of these before the health gestapo bans them: http://bureaucrashcontraband.com/sf1t.html
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Lau, nobody is forcing smokers to stop smoking, we're just talking about restricting their right to pollute the air for other people. Nobody is suggesting that you should be forbidden from smoking in your private home. But as soon as you label it a cafe and open it to the public, certain safety rules apply, one of them being about air pollution.
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Well, even if you open it to "the public" it's still for the owner to decide. Today in a Danish café you can expect that smoking is allowed unless it is clearly stated that it's not. Nobody is forcing you to stay, if that was the case, it's a different matter. If you feel it is unsafe isn't it simply a matter of leaving as soon as you notice someone is smoking? The cafés that allow smoking could put up a sign saying "if you don't like smoke, stay out", but everyone knows that, so it's not really necessary. The owner is not opening it for "the public" as in every single person in the world, but for everyone who can agree to the terms of the café. One of those terms might be that smoking is allowed and smoke can occur. On private property the owner sets the rules. Lots of things are dangerous. Sports for instance. If you perform a dangerous sport you can expect risk. Skiing could be called unsafe for instance. You might accidently be run into by someone on the slopes. But those are the terms. If you use the principle of "private property rights can be violated to 'protect' customers against risk" skiing could be banned too, right? Or is the principle just to ban stuff you don't like? Some people like to smoke in cafés and in their work place and some café owners and employers are willing to let them. Mutual consent. Who are you to tell them that they cannot operate and go to smoke filled bars? Property rights are the foundation of a free society. The most free countries are based on property rights. It's in the constitution of the USA and in the Danish grundlov, even though there are a so many exceptions now. If you don't like smoke, simply go to smoke free cafés. If there are none nearby that you like, tough, open your own café or drink coffee at home. I used to have the same opinion, that smoking was violating peoples right to an unpolluted environment. But then I realized that people have different preferences and that you agree to certain terms in advance of entering other peoples property.
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Bingo! Hail to the power of free will!
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Jarkko Laine

Lau, I think you're mixing up a couple of things. Like Lars said, people can do what they want to themselves, but as soon as it puts others in direct harm, I think regulating it is necessary, not "Gestapo mentality". Second, according to what principles is the freedom to smoke a constitutional right but if you want to sit in a smokefree cafe, "go somewhere else" (if that place exists?). I think we should get rid of the age-old assumption that people somehow stopped going to bars and cafes if they would become smoke-free. Or that even half of the people going to bars really liked it smoky. Hasn't the example of "Ireland":http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3763471.stm and "Sweden":http://www.sweden.se/templates/cs/Article____12019.aspx already proven otherwise? bq. "In a lot of work places, there are separate areas for smokers, so that they can smoke and non-smokers can avoid the smoke." Yes, and I'm fine with that. As long as the non-smokers never have to get exposed to that smoke. That basically means a dedicated smoking room or smoking outside. I'm actually fine with the upcoming law here in Finland (taking effect June 1st 2007) for bars. It says the bar owner can build a smoking area which is completely separated (by walls and doors) from the actual bar and there is no service in that area so that the employees don't have to get exposed to the smoke. For the same reason, you can't bring your drinks in that area, because someone needs to pick up the leftover glasses. The Swedish law has a similar clause in it, as well. bq. "More costly to society? Do you mean the state?" State, cities, whoever pays for the healthcare not only for people who deliberately smoke, but also for those who chose not to and are still lying in a hospital because of secondary smoking. Something that they put up to because they had to support their family and were too weak to confront (or move on from) an "if you don't like the smoke, go find some other place to work in" mentality. Is that the freedom of choice you're talking about? bq. "Well is the welfare state system more important than the freedom of human beings? Why not just kill off everyone that’s too costly then?" You mean that if you're not allowed to pollute a room with smoke, you're not a free human anymore? You're not allowed to go around shooting other people either, why should your individual rights to kill someone more slowly be worth more than a law that prohibits killing? bq. "If you use the principle of “private property rights can be violated to ‘protect’ customers against risk” skiing could be banned too, right? Or is the principle just to ban stuff you don’t like?" Aren't you stretching a bit far here? Skiing in a decent manner doesn't probably hurt anyone, which I don't think anyone can say the same about smoking (whether direct or second-hand). Plus, there are thousands of regulations for ski center entrepreneurs (inspecting the lifts regularly, banning downhill in open pistes, etc, etc). So I don't agree that the principle of private property rights is (or was ever meant to be) that on your own property you can do what the hell you want to. While talking about US here, the regulations against smoking are generally a lot more stringent in there than in Europe (although that depends on the state). In California you can't smoke next to anywhere nowadays, and people are not afraid to speak out. Carl wrote about getting back to Germany from US in "Deutschland = Tobaccoland?":http://blesius.org/blog/one-entry?entry_id=1502 I've had some similar thoughts when traveling around (Paris and Copenhagen scoring the lowest on my smoke-free clubbing scale).
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If you enter a smoke filled café it you put yourself in that place. Just leave if you don't like it man! And don't take a job at a place filled with smoke. You don't have a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_rights">positive right</a> to go to smoke free cafés. On the other hand you have a negative right to others leaving you alone even if you and some friends smoke and you are not violating the rights of others in the process. I'm not saying that you have a positive right to smoke where ever you want. But on your property you can. Of course it would not be right to invite someone for coffee and then beat them up just because they are on your own property. Or chain them to a chair and fill the room with cigarette smoke against their will or something. That would be hurting their body against their will. But in some kind of Fight Club scenario it not be illegal to punch each other if you both agree. If you know in advance that you might get hurt in some way, that's your choice. For instance a voluntary boxing fight is an example of people voluntarily "hurt" each other. Why not ban boxing matches, people get hurt? Property rights mean that others cannot use coercion against you. If you voluntarily choose to go to a smoke filled place, that's not coercion. What *is* coercion is throwing people in jail for smoking on their own property. "Aren’t you stretching a bit far here? Skiing in a decent manner doesn’t probably hurt anyone, which I don’t think anyone can say the same about smoking (whether direct or second-hand)." It was to give an example of people choosing to do something that involves a risk of getting hurt. A lot of people get hurt skiing. Travel in insurance is also more expensive if you go skiing, than if you don't. And there's a reason for that: the risk of going to the hospital is larger when skiing. "Plus, there are thousands of regulations for ski center entrepreneurs (inspecting the lifts regularly, banning downhill in open pistes, etc, etc). So I don’t agree that the principle of private property rights is (or was ever meant to be) that on your own property you can do what the hell you want to." You can do whatever you want to on private property *unless* you violate the rights of others. State imposed regulations of private property is a violation of property rights. And you don't need legislation to have safe lifts. Ski resorts can promise a certain safety level and if they don't live up to that, they are breaching a contract.
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I'm for some things in the smoking ban, against others. But for me, the idea that an establishment cannot do business unless it is free of smoke is preposterous. Why can't employees actively choose to work in a smoky environment? Sign a contract, waive your rights if needed. Perhaps accept an extra fee for health insurance (based on the <b>actual</b> health risk, that is...something like 15% more than people with no exposure). Then let the market decide whether the place will prove successful. And non-smokers can go elsewhere and get on with their own lives. End of story. By the way, no one seems to question exhaust fumes. I don't remember exact body count figures, but I recall thinking that they were not far from those of passive smoking. Yet that topic is much less inviting since none of us may escape, we all profit from it, and we're all more or less to blame.
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