MINOT, N.D. — The debate over smoking bans has been over for a while now, and the anti-smoking folks won. There is no public space in North Dakota where one can legally light up, and as a personal matter, that’s alright with me.
I don’t smoke. I don’t like smoking. I don’t like being around people who are smoking.
Still, I argued against the smoking bans, because I abhor the idea that private businesses that are open to the public are somehow owned by the public. I don’t like smoking, but I like big government manipulations of what otherwise legal activities private citizens get up to on private property even less.
Smoking tobacco has always been legal. Why not let private businesses cater to people who, informed of all the attendant health risks, choose to smoke?
I started this column by saying the smoking debate was over, didn’t I? How foolish of me. It abides, most recently in the form of House Bill 1229 , which would allow for the smoking of cigars within a specific type of business that must adhere to certain standards to be licensed.