Government Intervention vs. Personal Freedom

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Many people debate over where government intervention is appropriate and personal freedom should begin. One of these highly discussed topics is banning smoking in public places. The ban of smoking in public has many advantages and reasons. Smoking in public puts innocent adults, teenagers, and children at risk of serious health problems. If smoking is banned in public, this may help lower rates of potential smokers and current smokers as well. The welfare of the nonsmoker and the smoker are both affected by allowing smoking in public. By banning smoking in these areas, the population would be positively influenced.

America is recognized for its laws regarding freedom. By allowing smoking in public places, we are taking away the freedom of health from nonsmokers. Through banning areas where smoking is permitted, we limit freedoms of the smoker, but do not eliminate the freedom entirely. The ban would be seen more as a restriction on where these freedoms can be exercised to ensure well being for all people, smokers and nonsmokers. These limitations are for the good of the American people as a whole, which makes the ban an appropriate course of action.

Arguments can be made for the opposing side as well, but these arguments only consider the smoker, not the people that smoking affects. Where does government involvement end and personal responsibility begin? The preamble to the Constitution states: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America” (U.S. Const., Preamble). The phrases “promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty” applies to this issue. The government allowing smoking in public places is not promoting the general welfare. It is negatively...
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