Class action

We have commented a number of times on the war being waged against smokers. Buying cigarettes is legal, smoking generally is not illegal, but you would never know it. Liberty is being displaced by government fiat and it has decided that tobacco is evil, criminally negligent. The latest battleground in the smoking wars is Truro.

Truro town council voted unanimously Monday to ban smoking on Inglis Place, making lighting up while window shopping or grabbing a quick smoke break a thing of the past for shop employees and passersby as of next week.

Mayor Bill Mills said the bylaw was proposed mainly for health reasons, but the municipality also hopes it will help curb loitering along the one-block shopping district, which underwent a $1.4-million renovation in 2007 in a bid to boost foot traffic.

It looks like they are trying to compete with Wolfville for firsts as

…Truro’s move to restrict lighting up on a downtown street is the first … heard of in Canada.

The decision doesn’t sit well with a smokers rights group. [Somehow they get less media attention or respect than an animals rights group. Seals have more friends.] They say:

“Smokers are viewed as criminals at this point in time, and that’s exactly the goal of the anti-smokers groups,” Arminda Mota, president of mychoice.ca, said Tuesday about the ban in Truro.

“What they want is to make everybody believe that smokers are not good people — that not only are we putting ourselves in danger, but that we are killing everybody else with our smoke.”

We wonder if municipalities would change their tune if some of the tobacco tax went into the town’s coffers. As it is the mayor of Truro sees the gathering of smokers as subversive and an opportunity to pick up some fine revenue.

(Smokers) get their coffee and they stand outside, sit outside, and talk over the problems of the world and try to solve them. If they could solve them a little quicker, probably we wouldn’t be in this situation today,” he said in an interview.

“It conflicts with some of the people who are shopping. The smoke goes into the shops.”

Fines for smoking could range from $100 to $1,000, said Mills. The details are still being worked out.

We are reminded of Skip Hambling’s  article on the no smoking in cars with kids bylaw in an issue of Open to Question a while ago. In that excellent piece Smoke Screens he commented:

There is of course a class aspect ( surprise) to this whole tawdry business … Forced to do all the shitty jobs we educated and affluent folks need done to keep ourselves in a manner to which we believe we’ve become entitled, a lot of hard working folks still find some small solace in having a smoke. A pleasure we must do everything we can do to deny them. For their own good of course.

Yes, it is an exhilarating high, that social engineering urge, when power is given to those who think they know what’s best for the rest of us.

There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
John Adams US diplomat & politician (1735 – 1826)
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