The image and place of smoking in American life has come a long way, baby.
The other day I saw what would now be called a retro style advertisement featuring golf legend Arnold Palmer hawking cigarettes. And of course you can’t watch an old movie without seeing at least one character light up.
Smoking has been on the decline for a long time, and that’s a good thing. But in the effort to eliminate smoking, anti-smoking zealots trample on the property rights of owners as well as the freedom of association rights of everyone else.
But while governments should refrain from saying “Joe, you can’t let people smoke in your bar,” Joe is free to say “I don’t want you to smoke in my bar.” Nobody has a right to smoke in a private establishment.
On the other hand, Joe is free to ban smoking in his establishment, and his motives (financial gain, personal preference, etc.) make no difference.
People in one Michigan resort area will now be able to enjoy a smoke-free environment, if that’s what they want. Crystal Mountain will ban smoking in most places on its property, which offers golf in the summer and alpine sports in the winter.
As a non-smoker, that gives me one more reason to visit. At least for a while in Michigan, the balance between smoking and not is to some extent still left up to the interaction between businesses and customers.