I will defend the right of any smoker to kill themselves if that is what they want to do.
I live with a smoker and have learnt to accept that it is a part of his life. However, he does not smoke in the house.
Someone who ingests too much sugar will deal with their own consequences in addition to my contributing taxes to their well-being.
But smoking adds another dimension. I am not only expected to pay to deal with your stupid decision to smoke, I am also forced to deal with how your stupid decision affects me personally.
I will also defend the right of a restaurant owner to decide the policy of his restaurant, including discrimination on the basis of race and sex.
However, they should not get any tax benefits or other benefits that I help subsidise.
Surely, as a taxpayer, I should not be expected to finance someone who chooses not to be part of society and are not willing to contribute to the greater good of society?
We have one of the largest antiretroviral programmes in the country as a result of people who engaged in sexual behaviour that was detrimental to their health, some knowingly so.
If restaurants are so badly affected by such policies, they could so easily close.
The expected migration away from restaurants is once again overstated.
The fact is, people now accept smoke-free restaurants and while in the past you saw throngs of smokers congregating in smoking sections, even smokers prefer not to visit these smoking glass houses.
In my view, self-policing helps. The isolated issue of cigar bars should be dealt with separately and not as part of a wider issue.
Randpark Ridge, Randburg