Anti-smoking legislature is fraught with problems, not the least of which is the erosion of personal liberty. I can understand anti-smoking laws in schools and hospitals, and even government buildings. But if you thought that banning smoking in privately-owned restaurants and clubs was an overstep of authority, wait until you get a load of this.
The “City that Never Sleeps” is currently considering legislation that would expand anti-smoking laws to include to the city’s parks, beaches, and other public outdoor locations, including Times Square. The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR) and New York Tobacconist Association have formed a partnership to oppose the measure.
Said IPCPR legislative director Chris McCalla, “We’re against legislated smoking bans of any kind, and so should everyone else [be]…they take away fundamental rights of citizens everywhere. In public places like these, common courtesy should prevail, not heavy-handed, misguided legislation.”
I just LOVE that part about common courtesy over heavy-handed, misguided legislation. It perfectly sums the fundamental problem of the “nanny state.”
The substance of the measure irks me as a conscientious cigar smoker, but that’s only part of it. More important is the fact that precious time and taxpayer money are being wasted on such a trivial non-issue. It’s time for elected officials to focus their energies on the economy, crime, poverty, or anything else that matters.
Last I checked, smoking was legal. Moreover, the punitive taxation of smokers leads me to believe that the government needs people to keep smoking. But the “nibbling away” of smokers’ rights has got to go. It is a monumental waste of resources, yielding nothing positive.
See the petition against the NYC smoking ban.