Friday, November 07, 2003

Ban the Ban

A week ago I was stuck in traffic in NW DC with my windows rolled up when I smelled smoke. I looked around and saw that someone in a car on my passenger side was smoking with his window down. I noticed him that far away with my windows rolled up.

I'm not particularly sensitive - I don't have asthma and I grew up around cigarettes. But over the last decade or so my smoke exposure has been cut so much that I notice stuff like this now. And if I go to a bar and hang out with smokers I'll be able to pick out the clothes I wore there up to the day I get them washed.

And smokers have amazed me sometimes. I used to catch a guy in the main hallway of my apartment building smoking all the time. He hadn't been banished - he just didn't want the smoke in his apartment. All I could do was shake my head.

Even so, I don't like the way the antismoking goons do business. And in DC they're on the march again, trying to ban smoking in more places in DC. (it's a PDF). Hence we have a new blog called Ban the Ban.

One of the things that gripes me about it is that all of the penalties I saw were on the proprietor, not the smoker. The last time I saw logic like that was when the Nigerians were going to stone a woman for adultery after she'd been raped.

Let the sneaks who support this measure take on the smokers directly instead of setting proprietors against their customers. If it's more expensive to enforce that way, too bad - that should give them a clue that they shouldn't pass it.

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