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A Smokers Injustice

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A Smoker’s Injustice
On March 30, 2003 a smoking ban will go into affect in restaurants, bars, and public places throughout NYC. A ban on public smoking lead by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an ex-smoker, has intentions of improving the health of employees by segregating smokers from about 13,000 bars and restaurants in New York City. The ban is a modernized version of unjust law as described by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In an attempt to save lives, Mayor Bloomberg is taking an addiction and marking it illegal and in doing so, he is segregating man from man, an idea which was thought to be thrown out the window after the 1960s.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. states in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” that an unjust law is “a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal.”(King Jr. 408) With the public smoking ban, Mayor Bloomberg is forcing smokers to either quit smoking or get up, go outside, smoke, and then come back to join their party. Mayor Bloomberg, an ex-smoker, would not be pleased if such a law was enforced during his smoking days, so why enforce it now and force current smokers out of the building.
The mayor argues that the law will help preserve the health of employees who work at bars and restaurants. It is “designed to protect workers in the city's 13,000 bars and restaurants that have allowed smoking.”(Reuters, N.Y. Times) In a city where smoking and drinking go hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly, smoking has become a symbol of the hardworking New Yorker who is just looking for a 15-minute break from the overwhelming stress of life. An employee at a bar has already thought about the fact that he/she will be working around second hand smoke, and if he/she still took the job after knowing that, then why should it bother the mayor?
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quotes St. Thomas Aquinas in ...

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