Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 5:06 pm

The Washington State Department of Health reports that calls to its Tobacco Quit Line are up nearly 50 percent over the same time last year. Most people credit the increase to the enactment of Initiative 901, which prohibits smoking in any workplace or public place, or within 25 feet of doors, windows or air intakes of any workplace or public place.

As one aggravated smoker said during an on-the-street interview last year, in order to have a smoke in Seattle’s cramped downtown Pioneer Square district, she’d have to smoke in traffic.

Which, apparently, is just what lots of folks are hoping she’ll do.

I hate tobacco. It’s unhealthy. It stinks, and it makes me stink when I have to be anywhere near people who are smoking it. Furthermore, there seems to be a quantifiable correlation between smoking and other antisocial behavior, such as littering. See someone toss something out the window of their car on the freeway, you can almost guarantee it’s a cigarette butt. It’s as if smoking is just another thing that people with an inherent social deficit pursue in order to piss off everyone else.

Yet for all this, I’m completely against this ban.

This is a legal product, being utilized by adults as part of their right to exercise freedom of choice. Freedom of choice to be an idiot who dies prematurely, to be sure, but that’s beside the point.

Wanna curb teen smoking? Fine, wonderful. Wanna make it illegal to smoke in airplanes and buses, where there’s no chance to get away from it? Great, no problem. Wanna make it a capital crime to hold down a pregnant woman and blow cigar smoke in her face? Heck, I’ll help you stick in the needle.

But if you’re going to try to render illegal the public use by recognized adults of a legally-procured recreational substance, please at least have the balls to call your efforts by their proper name: prohibition. Just get past your last vestiges of guilt over your fascistic tendencies and embrace them totally. It’s your sacred right as an American, so hold your head high!

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