Friday, May 08, 2009

Smokers: the new untouchables

1. Comedian Ron White is under investigation and faces a $500 fine for taking three puffs of a cigar during a performance in Bismarck, North Dakota:

"According to the Bismark Tribune, a plain clothed officer rolled over to one of White's shows to document the alleged law-breaking."

We're certainly glad there was no more serious crimes that the cop could be investigating instead of documenting White's felonious activities.

2. The city of Spokane, Washington is attempting to ban smoking from public golf courses (which are outside, of course). Strangely enough, they're running into some stiff opposition from people who like to puff whilst they putt:

"'But these are in fact reasonable laws,' [activist Patrick] Reynolds, grandson of tobacco pioneer R.J. Reynolds, said."

No, they're not, and this viewpoint comes from someone who can't stand the smell of smoke, particularly when eating. The next hole over? Knock yourself out.

3. Bar owner Paul Hauke Jr. of Sandusky, Ohio lit up a heater in the Erie County Health Department building in order to protest their asinine no-smoking policy for private businesses, which penalizes the establishment owner while failing to provide them with any means to prevent patrons from doing so. In other words, retailers get hit with progressively higher fines for violations whether they're permitting smoking or not, while the people actually doing the puffing basically are let off scot-free. Hauke argues that using their own rules, the Health Department itself should be fined for having someone smoke inside their building and he should get what his patrons got, which is a free pass:

"Since Ohio voters approved the smoking ban in November 2006, only business owners, not individuals, have received written warnings or fines, [Health Department spokesman Jay] Carey said."

Which pretty much confirms the point that Hauke was trying to make. We expect the Health Department to fine itself any moment now.

Sure, it's a nasty, dangerous habit, and as mentioned above, we aren't particularly fond of smelling it. However, we are resourceful enough to find and patronize businesses that ban it on their own, instead of waiting for the Nanny State to tell them how to run their own establishments.

Besides, what if it's your vice that ends up in the do-gooders' sights next?

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