Individual Freedom... Up In Smoke

The Colorado Freedom Report:  A libertarian journal of politics and culture.

The Colorado Freedom

Individual Freedom... Up In Smoke

P.O. Box 371438
Denver, CO 80237
World Wide Web:
For release: October 14, 2003
For additional information:
Desiree Hickson, Media Director
Phone: (303) 380-5810

Individual Freedom... Up In Smoke

Denver, CO -- Government Nannies are at it, again. On Wednesday, October 1, Fort Collins joined the growing list of cities that have passed ordinances that limit smoking in almost all public places, including bars and restaurants. On November 4, voters in the city of Greeley and in Summit County will vote on similar measures to ban smoking in public places.

Norm Olsen, Colorado Libertarian Party Chair, had this to say about seeing business and individual freedom of choice going up in smoke:

"To succeed, private businesses invite the public at large to exercise their free choice to patronize them. This does not make the business public property. The business remains the property of the business owner.

"It is the business owner who decides when to open, when to close, what's on the menu, how it will be presented, and accepts the financial risk of operating the business. It is this same business owner who should also decide if the legal activity of smoking is to be allowed in her/his business.

"Every citizen of Colorado has the right to choose which private businesses they will patronize and which they will not. The Libertarian Party believes that the citizens of Colorado are perfectly capable of making that choice without the help of the 'nannies' down at City Hall.

"Those who do not like to eat in a smoke filled atmosphere should/will patronize a non-smoking restaurant. Those who like to smoke while enjoying a drink or after a meal will patronize an establishment, which allows smoking. Employees of these establishments also have a similar choice.

"This, the richest and greatest country history has ever seen, was built on choices made by individuals seeking their own best interests. Delegating this responsibility to government at any level is a dangerous precedent."

Businesses are being used as a way to enforce politically correct, anti-smoking initiatives. Individuals who choose to smoke are being forced out of businesses where they formerly chose to exercise their (otherwise, legal) right to light up. Individuals caught smoking in banned areas in Fort Collins can be fined $1,000 a day or serve up to 60 days in jail.

The Libertarian Party supports the rights of business owners to make choices for their businesses, as they see fit, without government intrusion. The Libertarian Party strongly supports the rights of individuals to make their own choices, including the right to choose whether or not to patronize private businesses that allow smoking in their establishments.

Limiting the choices that businesses and individuals can make is not the legacy that government should leave for our children. The Libertarian Party believes that limiting government intervention into private matters, both business and personal, is the only legacy that Coloradoans should leave behind for the future.

The Libertarian Party of Colorado meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month: These meetings are open and the public is welcome to attend.

The Colorado Freedom