The East Peoria city council passed an ordinance on August 2nd 2016 banning vaping indoors in public places. Apparently that includes private businesses. Vape shops are excluded, but that just doesn't cut it.
I went to the city council meeting and asked the following question. What objection is there to replacing the ban with an ordinance requiring businesses to post signage clearly indicating whether or not they allow vaping within their premises? This would have the effect of allowing concerned individuals the opportunity to avoid what they perceive to be dangerous second-hand vapor by simply avoiding those venues that allow vaping. It would also preserve the freedom to vape indoors, something that vaping-friendly businesses and vapors rightly expect since they are free citizens of America.
Commissioner Gary Densberger’s objection to my idea was that some businesses don’t want to allow vaping within their walls but they don't want to look like the bad guys telling their customers they can't vape. So they want the government to ban it everywhere. That lets customers blame the government instead of business owners. Way to pass the buck.
So we vapors and vaping-friendly businesses are being punished because some business owners are cowards. They are afraid to be honest with their customers. They'd rather lie to their customers than tell them the truth. They'd rather keep their customers in the dark of their true intentions. They think their customers are stupid.
Commissioner Densberger is ok with this. He was smiling when he said it. He doesn't see the problem with business owners being dishonest with their customers. And he doesn’t see the problem with the government screwing over some business owners in order to favor others.
What's worse is that commissioner Densberger expressed that he’s not ok with some business owners looking like the bad guys, but apparently he IS ok with making us look like the bad guys. This ban paints the picture that vaping is harmful to users and bystanders. The ban will have the effect of deterring smokers from switching to a healthier alternative. And it has the effect of harming vape shops because it will scare some people away from vaping.
Commissioner John Kahl spoke up and said that they got many calls and emails from businesses and residents asking for the ban and basically nobody contacted them to express their views against the ban. His implied argument was this. If the majority wants to outlaw a freedom, they get to.
So this is the rule of the majority. It contradicts the values that founded this country. Values laid out in our constitution.
The constitution was created for the purpose of protecting individuals from arbitrary rule of kings. The founders of our country wanted a better system than that of their predecessors, the Kingdom of Britain. So they made a constitution that sets out individual freedoms that nobody has the right to take away. Nobody!
What the city council has done is institute arbitrary rule. But instead of arbitrary rule of kings, it's arbitrary rule of the majority. This is no good. What we need is objective rule of LAW. That's the purpose of the constitution. It's designed to protect individuals from arbitrary rule of man -- whether by a king or a majority. No king and no majority has the right to force its opinions on the individual.
The vaping ban is unconstitutional. The city council usurped the constitution when making this ordinance.
They should not be ignoring the constitution. If they disagree with the constitution, there are built in mechanisms for changing it. So work to change it if you want. Don't just ignore it like it doesn't exist. Bypassing the constitution is arbitrary rule. It’s unreasonable and immoral.
Another issue that commissioner Kahl raised is that this is a health issue. There are two problems here. First, regardless of whether or not vaping is dangerous, it's not the government’s job to choose what we put in our bodies. Second, the studies citing that vaping is harmful are agenda-driven, designed to paint a bad picture for vaping. It’s politics dressed up as science. You can’t just trust a study because it’s claimed to be scientific, or because it’s being presented by some prestigious university like Harvard. Even Harvard lies.
Take the example of Harvard’s recent article, "Chemical flavorings found in e-cigarettes linked to lung disease.” The article claims a link between diacetyl, a chemical found in most e-juice, and a particular lung disease known as bronchiolitis obliterans. The article implies that vaping causes lung disease. It’s complete and utter trash. The facts are that tobacco cigarettes have 750 times more diacetyl than any e-juice and no one gets bronchiolitis obliterans from smoking. So who gets this disease? People who work in popcorn factories. That’s why the disease is nicknamed “popcorn lung disease.” And this isn’t just a mistake. It was intentional, dishonest, malicious.
I should note that one of the city council members, commissioner Tim Jeffers, voted NO to the ban. He argued that it should be left up to the businesses. His reasons were about freedom. He's right. It's the other three council members that got it wrong.
Residents of East Peoria I leave you with this question. Who do you think should be in office? People who favor arbitrary rule and authoritarianism? Or people like commissioner Jeffers who favor objective rule of law and freedom? I think the choice is clear.
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Let's work together to repeal the ban.
Join us on Facebook @ People Against Vaping Bans.
And sign the petition @ Petition Against Vaping Bans.
Also join CASAA to defend our right to vape.
Also join CASAA to defend our right to vape.
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