Smoking: The Paradigm Has Changed (7/3/07) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Smoking: The Paradigm Has Changed (7/3/07)

As a non-smoker, I'm obviously pleased about Louisville's new anti-smoking ordinance. Dedicated smokers, understandably, don't share my enthusiasm.

But those who view this new law as an unfair attempt to change social behavior are missing the point. The behavior has already changed, and the law is just further evidence that a new paradigm now exists regarding smoking.

When I was a child, a huge percentage of adults smoked regularly, and you couldn't watch a movie or TV show without seeing practically everyone lighting up.

But during that same era, many people also thought nothing of discriminating based on age, sex or race. And women were routinely treated in ways that now constitute sexual harassment.

For the most part, that has changed. We realized the harm in such behavior. And we're the better for it.

But laws didn't come out of nowhere to bring about those changes. People first became aware of the need for change, and the laws that followed reflected that awareness.

Now, because of its many societal costs, the same thing has happened with smoking. And this law - rather than a radical attempt to force change - simply recognizes one that's already occurred.

What's your thought? Call us at 588-2433 and let us know.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my Point of View.

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