Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Libertarian Party opposes proposed smoking ban on private businesses

Harrisburg latest intrusion tabled till fall

Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania

Harrisburg - Although legislators have tabled a state-wide smoking ban until fall, the issue is far from dead. Governor Rendell has expressed his disappointment in the delay and indicated that "I believe a statewide ban would be good, and I'd be willing to sign it."

Today, the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPa) announced their opposition to this ban and re-affirmed their advocacy of the principles of individual responsibility and individual liberty. The Party holds that it is outside the role of government to prohibit legal behavior on private property.

Per Doug Leard, LPPa Media Relations Chair, "We, the citizens of Pennsylvania, do not want or need to be treated as children. We are responsible adults. We can decide whether to attend a restaurant or other privately owned enterprise which allows or does not allow smoking."

Libertarian candidate, Jim Babb, added, "If the governor has his way, his next step could be a ban on unhealthy foods, carrying scissors or mandating hats when it's cold. Free people don't need governmental parents. To assume that Pennsylvanians are too childish to make their own health choices is arrogant and insulting. To assume the politicians can make adult choices is downright foolish and dangerous."

The Senate and House versions would ban smoking in places such as arenas, private stores, private restaurants, and convention halls. The Senate and House bills differ in their list of special-interest exceptions and the ability of local governments to establish more restrictive bans.

Mark Crowley, a Libertarian Party activist from Allegheny County, asked, "What's next? Will Harrisburg bureaucrats target happy-hour promotions because lower-cost foods and drinks lead to bad health decisions? Appetizers and smoking should be personal choices, not government mandates. Let customers choose by voting with their feet and taking the demand for wait staff with them."

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in both Pennsylvania and the United States. Nationwide there are over 200,000 registered Libertarians with organizations in all 50 states. Libertarians serve in hundreds of elected offices throughout the nation. Please visit www.LP.org or www.LPPA.org for more information.

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