The Michigan Legislature is once again considering an attack on private property rights in the form of a workplace smoking ban, according to the Associated Press.
Russ Harding, director of the Center's Property Rights Network, addressed the issue a year ago when the Michigan House and Senate passed separate bills but failed to reach an agreement on how intrusive to make the proposed legislation:
Smoking bans may not strike most people as an obvious government property taking in the same manner as seizing someone's home to make way for a new highway, but both are an erosion of the right to use one's own private property free from government meddling.
While proponents of a ban often refer to the need to eliminate smoking in "public places," the targets of such a ban (bars and restaurants) are actually private facilities. Smoking in public places, such as city halls, libraries or courthouses, has long been banned.
Other Center scholars have also addressed the issue: