RIGHTS & FREEDOMS
The freedom of choice argument comes in two basic forms: proprietors'
assertions that they have the right to run their businesses free
from government interference and to choose whether to permit smoking,
and smokers' insistence that they have the right to smoke when and
where they wish. Both arguments can be easily addressed, with the
obvious response to smokers not needing comment. Concerning the
demands of business owners to operate without restrictions, hospitality
operators already face a host of restrictions ranging from building
and fire code standards to food safety, liquor license and zoning
conditions and restrictions, yet never complain about the latter.
A corollary to the freedom of choice argument increasingly raised
by bar and pub owners is that smoke-free by-laws are in fact a covert
attempt to force people to stop smoking. This argument is usually
made in the context of a broader attack on the involvement of health
units and other health sector personnel in which the latter are
usually characterized as "extremists", "special interests", or described
as inappropriately receiving government funding.