5 Oct 2010
As we’ve documented before, there’s a long tradition of sports teams celebrating a championship, gold medal, or pennant with a few victory cigars. So everything seemed normal when the Cincinnati Reds clinched the National League Central Division one week ago.
According to media reports, team owner Bob Castellini passed out victory cigars in the locker room and a number of players lit up celebratory smokes. But now the Cincinnati Department of Health has announced it will investigate the baseball club for violations of Ohio state law.
Apparently, five anonymous callers to the state’s smoking ban tip line complained about the cigar-filled celebration. There’s no indication that any of the anonymous tipsters were present at the celebration. It could have been anti-smoking militants, or maybe it was disgruntled Cardinals, Cubs, Astros, Brewers, or Pirates fans.
Under state law, public investigators must now return to the location of the reported violation within 30 days, at approximately the same time, to look for violations. The absurdity of an investigator stopping by the locker room when it is empty or during a playoff game has drawn fire from critics.
“Cigar Rights of America calls upon Mayor Mark Mallory and the Cincinnati City Council to rebuke the city Health Department, and direct them to stop this senseless investigation and waste of public dollars,” stated J. Glynn Loope, Executive Director of Cigar Rights of America. “This dramatizes why members of the Ohio legislature need to amend the Ohio Clean Indoor Air Act, to allow for common sense exemptions from this nanny state piece of legislation.”
photo credit: Fox19