December 29, 2005


39% live in areas limiting smoking: Six more states pass restrictions in 2005 (Wendy Koch, 12/29/05, USA TODAY)

Six states enacted indoor smoking bans in 2005, more than in any previous year, as public sentiment appears increasingly anti-tobacco.

Thirty-nine percent of Americans are covered by statewide or local laws limiting smoking, according to Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights. In 1985, there were fewer than 200 such state and local laws in the USA. Today, there are more than 2,000. Of those, 118 state or local governments ban all smoking in restaurants, bars and other workplaces.

It's all part of a growing sentiment for a smoke-free environment at work, in public places, even outdoors.

Better uniform than piecemeal, but every bit helps.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 29, 2005 8:13 AM

I agree that this is a good thing; I'm no fan of smoking, especially after losing a grandma to lung cancer.

However, I'm a bit surprised that you agree. You're normally no fan of the Nanny State.

Posted by: Mark Byron at December 29, 2005 8:41 AM


You must be new here.

Posted by: Peter B at December 29, 2005 8:55 AM

Yeah, he loves the nanny state, as long as he gets to be the nanny.

Posted by: Gary at December 29, 2005 9:12 AM

More like a wet nurse. He wants us all to suckle at his teat.

Posted by: Bryan at December 29, 2005 10:05 AM


It's not Nannying when you forbid sin--it's Daddyism.

Posted by: oj at December 29, 2005 10:54 AM

Is smoking a sin, then, as well as a crime?

I like smoke free environments too, but I don't like the idea of legislating against it.

Posted by: erp at December 29, 2005 12:55 PM

In OJ's world, we are condemned to smokeless environments and mass transport.

Posted by: ed at December 29, 2005 1:18 PM


No, that's Heaven, it just sounds like OJ World.

Posted by: oj at December 29, 2005 1:46 PM

Start stockpiling weapons now, boys. A short piece of heavy chain works well in the crowded confines of a train car. Unfortunately Orrin's pretty cagey about publishing photos of himself, so it's hard to know whose head we need to crack. Look for back fur peeking up over the collar, and hope for the best.

Posted by: joe shropshire at December 29, 2005 2:38 PM

Envy is a sin, and envy is what motivates these uncharitable smoking bans.

Posted by: Carter at December 29, 2005 2:52 PM

If we envied smokers we'd smoke. We love them so we stop them. That's what morality is.

Posted by: oj at December 29, 2005 3:07 PM

So if you love someone you'll stop them from doing whatever stupid-@$$ thing they're doing that you wouldn't do... Great. When we crack your head open for being a nanny-stater, then, remember we're acting out of love.

Posted by: joe shropshire at December 29, 2005 3:15 PM

These bans don't stop smoking, smoking is still legal - and taxed, the anti-smoking bigots are too greedy (hey, another sin) to give up the tax revenue. What's being stopped is non-smokers having to endure seeing smokers enjoy a cigarette, or worse (and this is what's most painful) seeing a smoker lighting a cigarette for a young honey. Envy.

Posted by: Carter at December 29, 2005 4:53 PM

What's being stopped is a self-destructive behavior and, in particular, it's deleterious effects on others. Speaking of anti-smoking bigots is like speaking of anti-sodomy bigots or anti-heroin bigots. It's inane. Though you may feel anal sex should be banned in restaurants so as not to provoke your envy?

You're right though that it should just be criminalized.

Posted by: oj at December 29, 2005 4:57 PM

Anal sex is legal where I live, including in private clubs. Smoking is not. Because the anti-smoking bigots (including gay ones) envy smokers.

Smoking, unlike drinking, does not harm others, why don't you favor criminalizing drinking? Because you drink, and therefore don't envy those who partake of drinking.

Posted by: Carter at December 29, 2005 5:29 PM


So anal sex is regulated, confined to private quarters, and drinking, even though it has some health benefits unlike smoking and sodomy, is regulated but you insist smoking shouldn't be? And you think people envy you? Cigarettes appear to be only a minor problem as far as your psyche is concerned.

I don't disfavor criminalizing alcohol, but the American people have decided against it. We've decided in favor of stamping out smoking.

Posted by: oj at December 29, 2005 5:35 PM

Actually in Seattle you can have anal sex in public parks.

As far as vices go, it's hysterical to compare smoking to drinking, anal sex and fatty foods, all of which are far worse. Drinking may have health benefits but drunks harm millions of innocent people. Why not be principled and try and ban alchohol too?

I don't disagree that the country is headed in an anti-smoking direction, I'm merly pointing out the true - and sinful- motives of those behind this trend.

Posted by: Carter at December 29, 2005 6:37 PM

Because there isn't massive public support for banning drinking again, and alcohol beneficial both in health and social terms in moderation. Smoking has no redeeming effects.

To some extent you're right--God made things sins because they attract people and they have to be stopped from engaging in them. But the idea that murder is banned because we envy murderers is obviously silly, as is your delusion about smoking.

Laws just help us contol the sinful desires of those to weak to follow the morality God requires of us.

Posted by: oj at December 29, 2005 8:58 PM

Non-smokers are jealous of smokers? Oh, yeah. I was really jealous of the painful way my mother died at 58, missing the lives of her adult children and most of her grandchildren. That's really something to be jealous about.

Posted by: sharon at December 29, 2005 9:59 PM

Equating smoking with murder is silly. The redeeming qualities of cigarettes are numerous, and include the providing of a kind of momentary bliss, the sharpening of mental acutiy, they enhance the sociability of both alchohol and coffee. They modify one's sense of time, and provide a sort of romantic punctuation to moments of emotion.

But you aren't interested because you dislike smoking. Which is fine, I just find it sad that the anti-smokers can't allow any tiny corner of the world for us (other than hell-holes like Las Vegas). Because they envy us. Honestly, do you think the reason people in Seattle and San Francisco voted to ban smoking was out of concern for "the morality God requires of us"? I will give you the benefit of the doubt as to that being your motivation, but it certainly wasn't theirs.

I fail to see what the lack of public support to ban drinking has to do with anything. Drinking harms far more people than smoking, if smoking is as terrible as you claim should you not at least support banning drinking in principle, and abstain yourself in example?

Sharon: my father used to beat my mom with a slipper. That was sad too. Should we therefore ban slippers?

I will speak no more of this topic here, as I am annoying even myself at this point. Happy New Year.

Posted by: Carter at December 29, 2005 11:16 PM

I finally understand. We must not be allowed to interfere with anyone's wish to die as slowly as possible.

Posted by: andy at December 29, 2005 11:55 PM

Orrin doesn't just not "disfavor criminalizing alcohol", he's written that Carrie Nation was a bigger influence on American culture than were the Wright brothers.

As far as vices go, it's hysterical to compare smoking to drinking, anal sex and fatty foods, all of which are far worse.

Fatty foods are worse than smoking ?
Indeed, "hysterical".

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 30, 2005 3:57 AM

There are no redeeming qualities--it's deadly to the user and harnful and obnoxious to anyone around him. Were smokers l;ess self-absorbed mere good manners would prevent their smoking around others. Instead we have to ban it in public and eventually will ban it entirely.

Your argument in favor of the right of wife-beating seems even odder.

Posted by: oj at December 30, 2005 7:32 AM

Please, let's only legislate against the habits I think are bad.

Posted by: ed at December 30, 2005 8:42 AM

Despite its evil image, new research suggests that nicotine is a surprisingly potent drug for a variety of diseases that afflict the brain, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Tourette’s syndrome.
{“An image makeover for nicotine: It shows promise against brain diseases,” - Feb. 21, 2000}

Nicotine itself is a potent drug, and the properties that make it addictive may also help ease the symptoms of mental disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers added other ailments, including attention deficit disorder and depression, to the list. Paul Sanberg and Archie Silver of the University of South Florida studied 70 young Tourette’s syndrome patients and found significant increases in the control of muscle tics and verbal outbursts associated with the disease when using nicotine.
{“A Little Nicotine Could Be Good For You,” ‘Medicine,’ Newsweek, Mar. 6, 2000}

Nicotine may have some therapeutic effects. In the future, physicians may prescribe nicotine as a drug (not smoking) to relieve symptoms for a variety of diseases from schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s for attention deficit disorders and colitis. Scientists and physicians are hesitant to talk about the potential benefits of nicotine...Nicotine can help focus attention and improve memory, says Edward Levin of the Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory at Duke University Medical Center, adding that smoking is obviously a hazardous way to take a drug.
{“Nicotine’s Nice Side,” Abigail Trafford, Washington Post Health, Apr. 22, 1997}

People who smoke may be less likely to contract Alzheimer’s disease. What’s more, it seems that the risk of developing the disease lessens, the more cigarettes that are smoked. These curious findings may, somehow, open up undiscovered lines of research into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease...Smoking may actually help decrease the side effects of antipsychotic medication — but it may work against those same medications requiring higher doses, and with a higher chance of side effects.
{Family Doctor, Alan E. Nourse, MD, Good Housekeeping, Apr. 1992}

Posted by: andy at December 30, 2005 11:06 AM

And enjoyment ain't nothing.

Posted by: David Cohen at December 30, 2005 10:36 PM

As Abigail Trafford notes, "physicians may prescribe nicotine as a drug (not smoking", and "Edward Levin of the Neurobehavioral Research Laboratory at Duke University Medical Center [says] that smoking is obviously a hazardous way to take a drug."

David Cohen:

This is true, but is also an effective argument for legal marijuana.
Smoking tobacco likewise has both beneficial and negative effects, both long and short term.

In any case, the point isn't whether one ought to smoke, but rather if one has the right to ignore others' sensibilities when one blazes up.

Increasingly, the answer is "smoke at home", and rightly so.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 31, 2005 1:16 PM