To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, November 05, 2007

California Is Obsessed with Not Smoking

To build on Rob's post below, I just got back from a trip to the Bay Area and was amazed at the proliferation of no-smoking signs, especially at the airport. It is well understood that one cannot smoke in a US airport. We all know that. But California likes to remind you of that every five steps you take. There are "No Smoking" stickers everywhere in the Oakland airport. The frequency of the stickers betrays an insane obsession with something that never happens and, if it did, would not be the end of the world. It is easier to get a fake bomb through TSA security than it is to smoke inside of OAK or SFO.

And smoking is now also banned outside of those airports, where health issues cannot credibly be a problem. Smokers used to be sent to a fenced off area outside of the airports but that is now gone so they are banned completely, as no smoking signs are posted everywhere outdoors.

I was in wine country and the Healdsburg town center park had a big sign that said, No Smoking in This Park. SF has just passed a similar park ban. These signs are such Nanny State visual pollution that I can't imagine that smoking is more annoying.

As to the health justification of smoking bans, it has become clear that the anti-smoking lobby used that as an excuse to ban workplace smoking and now just wants to ban it everywhere, just as MADD morphed from an anti-drunk driving lobby into an anti-drinking lobby.

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