So this story has recently received a lot of media attention. A Michigan-based company has decided to ban smoking. Ok, sounds reasonable. But wait, not just in the office or on the premises, but anywhere. They now say their employees are not permitted to smoke at all. Ever. Anywhere. Even when they're off the job. At home. On vacation. Now that's a new one. So what do I think about this (I know you're dying to know). Well, I'll skip talking about how revolted I am at all things smoke. But the idea that my employer would try to dictate how I live my life outside of work--lunacy. All they should care about is the quality of my work. Right?
On the other hand, we require them to foot a large chunk of the bill for our healthcare. So it seems only reasonable that the company try to minimize that bill. First with a smoking ban, followed by other health requirements, such as diet and exercise.
So does this ban still seem anathema to the rugged individualism that is the American way? Maybe that's the price we have to pay for all the various welfare systems we've built up. If we want to be left alone to smoke and drink and overeat (or whatever, name your vice), then we can't very well turn around and expect someone else to foot the bill for our foibles. So let's just end welfare of every kind and each take responsibility for our own lives. Let's all pay for our own health insurance, just like we pay for our own car insurance, life insurance and homeowners insurance. Or not--let it be just another choice that we each have to make as the rugged individuals we are.
But if we still want someone else to step in and solve all our problems and pick us up every time we fall, then we just have to accept that we cannot be free and deal with these sorts of strictures on our lives. I for one, choose freedom--and all the risks and responsibilities that come with it.