« The Daily Dose

Sioux Falls' assault on smoking

by Greg Belfrage

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO-AM) - The Sioux Falls Health Department is encouraging rental property owners to ban smoking in their buildings.

According to a published report, the city joined forces with the American Lung Association and Sioux Empire Tobacco Free Coalition to try and convince apartment owners of the fire hazards of smoking.  

Smoking, you see, is responsible for many building fires.  Therefore, we should prohibit smoking.  Using that logic, we should also ban Christmas tree lights.

This recent action comes hot on the heels of the city's new Tobacco-Free City Parks Policy, prohibiting the use of tobacco during youth activities and on all city playgrounds.

The city is well within its rights to prohibit smoking on city property.  These are publicly owned lands enjoyed by everyone.

However, the city has absolutely no place counseling apartment owners as to whether they should allow smoking in their buildings.  

What's next?  Is the city going to advise landlords not to rent to the obese? Should owners ban soda from their buildings in order to encourage healthier living?  Perhaps fast food shouldn't be allowed on the premises?

There's simply no end to government sticking its intrusive nose into our daily lives. 

Why does government care whether I die from tobacco use or old age?  Answer: They don't.  In this case, city officials simply want to make themselves feel better.  This is one more government solution in search of a problem.

Greg Belfrage is heard mornings from 6am-9am on KELO Newstalk 1320 AM / 107.9 FM.