The anti-smoking brigade is developing frightening speed lately, winning legislation after legislation to ostracise, demonise, denormalise and alienate smokers. Note that’s “smokers”, not “smoking”. They work from the premise of being anti-smoking, but it’s nothing more than a ploy, similar to their cries that it’s all for public health. Anti-smoking wouldn’t mean banning tobacco products from being in possession, that resides solely under the anti-smoker banner.
Hot on the trails of the news that Vancouver has banned smoking on all its many acres of beaches and parks comes the news that it is now illegal to have tobacco products on state owned outdoor properties in Orange County, Florida. This includes parks and pavements and, bewilderingly, the legislation includes a limit for state employees that they can smoke only four cigars a year. In their own time. On their own property. Otherwise their salary loses $650.
Pretty baffling isn’t it? That means if you attend 5 weddings in a year, you need to prioritise which ones you can smoke a cigar at. If after the fourth one you feel a bit stressed later in the year, tough. I’m not sure if this is per ever 365 days, or calendar year, but it doesn’t make any difference.
Is there any justification for this, anywhere? Because if there is, I’m damned if I can see it. The state has no right to dictate what people can do in their own time or on their property so long so long as it remains within the confines of the law. It strikes me as worrying that America allows its citizens to own guns and shoot trespassers on their property, but certain grown adults can’t smoke a legally purchased and taxed cigar. The next step will be “we won’t emply you unless you eat salad for lunch and run 6 marathons a year”.
Hearing this story instantly reminded me of this:
If you have time, here’s an episode that pretty much perfectly sums up the hypocrisy and bullshit of the anti-smoking movement