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Stogie News: Smoking Bans Creep from Public to Private

25 Oct 2007

Call it luck or sheer frustration, but has gone almost one month without mentioning the words “smoking ban.” We’ve steered clear of the subject since September 28, to be exact. Between reviewing cigars and talking to industry leaders, we’ve kept ourselves pretty busy with the proposed SCHIP tobacco tax hike.

Unfortunately, our recent lack of reporting on senseless smoking bans doesn’t mean they’ve gone away. Quite the contrary. So, by way of an update, here are a few important items you may have missed. See if you can notice a menacing new trend.

No Paternalism1. In a move that underscores irrational big government intrusion, the Chicago Park District banned smoking in the city’s beaches and parks on October 17. The questionable ban took effect immediately. According to the Chicago Tribune, “If caught smoking within 15 feet of a beach or a playground, smokers can be fined up to $500. Park officials made their plans for the ban public Tuesday, saying the restriction would not only protect children from secondhand smoke but also keep beaches free of cigarette butts.”

2. Maine is proving that smoking bans are a slippery slope. Not satisfied with ominous control over the state’s workplaces and restaurants, anti-smoking zealots are turning their attention to citizens’ apartments and cars. As the Boston Globe reports, “Groups such as the Maine Civil Liberties Union have expressed concerns about the proposed smoking ban in cars, which involves traffic stops and $50 fines. ‘While we do not dispute that smoking has potentially severe health effects, the question is whether it’s appropriate for law enforcement to be given the power to stop and penalize people who engage in an otherwise legal activity,’ said Shenna Bellows, MCLU executive director.”

3. America’s cigar smoker in chief is showing some mixed results. Governor Schwarzenegger signed a law prohibiting Californians from smoking in cars with passengers under 18. But he also vetoed a radical bill that would strip the state’s smoking ban of many of its exemptions. According to Cigar Aficionado, Arnold said, “While more needs to be done to reduce smoking rates, I do not agree that placing further restrictions on business owners is the correct approach.”

It doesn’t take a public policy expert to realize that invasive smoking bans – once relegated to restaurants, workplaces, and bars – are moving closer to our homes, cars, and other private places. This trend is troubling for all cigar enthusiasts, especially those who value personal freedoms and individual rights.

Patrick A

Tags: cigars

8 Responses to “Stogie News: Smoking Bans Creep from Public to Private”

  1. MonkeyDan Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 3:56 am #

    Attention Congress, Liberals and "Do-Gooders" of America, STOP THINKING FOR ME!!!!

    If smoking is so bad, outlaw it. Otherwise, let me Fire up in Peace!

    Also, if you outlaw tobacco make sure you outlaw the following items that are a severe burden on our healthcare system: Twinkies, Pepsi, Coke, Ice Cream, Bacon, Sausage, McDonalds, Burger King, and candy. It offends me that I see fat people feeding their fats kids junk food. This life style is not healthy and should be banned. Better yet, let's tax people's waist sizes, cholestrol levels, PSA levels, blood pressure, insulin levels, etc. When is the madnesss going to stop. Once again, STOP THINKING FOR ME!

  2. Mac and Nudo Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 6:24 am #

    I don't want to add fuel to the nanny state fire — especially since it sounds like MonkeyDan is about to go into cardiac arrest — but Oakland recently banned smoking outdoors.

  3. Maine Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 11:40 am #

    You have your facts are messy in regards to your comments on Maine. 1) we aren't talking about Portland when we talk about smoking bans in cars and apartments, we are talking about state-wide advocacy and policy change, and 2) the smoke-free housing (apartments) movement in Maine is COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY policy change, based on education and outreach ONLY; no legislation involved, just people making the choice to do it on their own!

  4. Kieth Stout Friday, June 13, 2008 at 3:28 pm #

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Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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