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Butt Out

Here’s a letter to the Boston Globe:

Critical of your argument that “cigar bars should be an exception to smoking bans in public places,” Andrew Rouse writes that “The Globe ignores the fact that allowing cigar bars condones job sites where workers are expected to be exposed to carcinogens as a condition of employment. No worker should have to work in such conditions” (Letters, June 4).

News flash to Mr. Rouse: workers are intelligent beings.  The existence of cigar bars does not require that any worker must work “in such conditions.”  Persons who wish to work in cigar bars can do so, while those who do not do not.  Problem solved.

It won’t do, by the way, for Mr. Rouse to reply that some people have no real choice but to work in cigar bars.  Such a claim would imply that these workers’ skills are so specific to cigar bars that their other employment options, if any, are judged by these workers to be even worse than toiling in cigar bars.  Yet Mr. Rouse – posing as workers’ champion – wants to force them to endure options that, as they see matters, are even worse than (what Mr. Rouse assumes to be) the hell of working in cigar bars.

How, exactly, would cigar-bar workers be helped by this outcome?

Donald J. Boudreaux


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