Wichita Smoking Ban: Authoritarian, Elitist?

Here’s some good commentary I received from a citizen. Wichita’s smoking “ban” will take effect before too long.  Smoke ’em while you can, I guess.

Wichita’s Smoking Ban and the latest authoritarian arrogance emitted by elitist professor

University of Kansas School of Medicine professor Dr. Rick Kellerman is on the front page of the May 30 Wichita Eagle.  Kellerman is upset that a complete ban on smoking is not expected to be adopted by the city council at their June 3 meeting.

Who appointed Dr. Kellerman to be Wichita’s doctor?  The doctor’s elitist and authoritarian statement in today’s Wichita Eagle indicates that he is either trying to become the 21st century version of the Prohibition era’s Carrie Nation or the 20th century’s version of the infamous Nurse Ratched (see Ken Kesey’s classic One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) for improper behavior.  The arguments that Kellerman uses could also be used to ban everything from firearms, cars, risky behaviors from hang gliding to bungee jumping, and a host of activities that free people exercising their freedom in a responsible way may decide to engage in performing.

While it is a common leftist trait to call their political opponents, “fascists” it is a historical fact that the most famous anti-tobacco and anti-smoking advocate in the first half of the 20th century was Adolf Hitler who was happy to use his tyrannical powers to impose his will upon his subjects.  This was (and is) part of the authoritarian elitism that underlies all totalitarian ideologies.

Dr. Kellerman’s desire to follow in these footsteps here in Wichita as part of his campaign to destroy invidual liberty, property rights for individuals and business owners, as well as broadly restrict select human freedom.  Dr. Kellerman knows better than the peasants what is good for us.

Obviously this arrogant professor has never read Thomas Sowell‘s The Vision of the Anointed Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, a book that describes Kellerman’s ideology and elitist arrogance perfectly.  The same issue of the Wichita Eagle has a small story about California’s state senate has passed a ban on smoking within one’s own apartment.  Friendly fascism of the nanny state elitists like Dr. Kellerman are active all across this country.

3 Comments

  • People are finally waking up to the fact that a well funded, by cessation products, through tax exempt charities, “war on smokers” is taking place. As can be seen in other states, they’ll settle for a partial ban now, only to come back to extend the bans further. Total bans from the start are getting harder to pass as more people are seeing the antics they are pulling in other states.

  • The sale and use of tobacco products is legal in our city and state. The sale of tobacco products produces tax revenue for government, and that is positive. And, I suspect our Federal Government still subsidizes the growing of tobacco in tobacco growing states.

    The passage of the Wichita Smoking Ordinance was not needed because the smoking problem has been solving itself, for several years in our city, without government intervention by the natural and voluntary action of our free market economic system. Over the last two to three decades, restaurants, bars, and other businesses have been “voluntarily” regulating smoking and non-smoking in their businesses all over our city and state without the need for government mandated regulations, and without the need for government enforcement. This move to non-smoking establishments has been consumer driven, and businesses have voluntarily responded to this demand. Some businesses owners still choose to offer smoking for their customers since their customers demand the freedom to smoke. Freedom demands choice by business owner and customer. And, Private Property Rights are best preserved when property owners are free to use their property as they see fit. Government needs to stay out of the smoking debate.

    Several cities in our state have adopted smoking ordinances while others have not. There are studies that show smoking bans cause economic harm to some businesses, and I have heard testimony from business owners in Wichita who have or will be impacted negatively by the passage of the Wichita smoking ordinance. Like most regulations, the ordinance is complicated to the point of making it unenforceable. And, who is going to enforce the ordinance? Will additional city staff and the resultant bureaucracy be required for enforcement? What is enforcement going to cost? Will enforcement be selective or arbitrary? What economic impact will the ordinance have on business? Is the ordinance even necessary?

    The proponents of the ordinance are voicing concerns about public health and public health costs associated with smoking. Will this same group be pushing for city ordinances dealing with obesity with mandated diet and exercise? What will the penalties for failure to comply? Who will decide the standards?
    The proponents of the city smoking ban ordinance appear to be the same group who want to direct the lives of other people since they know what is best for them. They have no problem supporting law that limits individual freedom of choice, and private property rights.

    Milton Friedman says, “A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that…it gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

    The “voluntary” and “market-driven” solution to the “so-called” smoking problem has been happening automatically all over Wichita and Kansas without the need for additional law that criminalizes and punishes people who are partaking in their freedom to enjoy a legal product and activity. The Wichita smoking ordinance is another regulation, and tax (for the license) on the backs of business and property owners with the potential for creating an enforcement process that will be impossible to police, but at the same time create another level of expensive bureaucracy for a non-existent problem.

  • Fair tax is what we will achieve-by no longer collecting the unfair tax that has been on smokers. Everyone can enjoy coming up with the money that they will lose from the smokers.

    Is smoking more dangerous to others than alcohol? Why don’t they now keep a record on DUI’s, rapes, burlaries and killings due to alcohol. Since they have now banned smoking in public in Wichita, it’s time to look into the alcohol problem.

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