Smoking in public these days can be easily compared to riding a dying horse into its own funeral. State after state, business after business, and park after park has taken the ax to being able to smoke in public. There has been practically no escape from it. Even college campuses are starting to get in on it. The smoke break is essentially dead in parts of the country, reduced to simply “the break”. Even the designated smoking area, safe haven for those looking to at least partially escape these bans, is starting to disappear.
So what is the deal? With smokers having fewer and fewer places to smoke it seems as though the only place they can smoke is at home…unless home is an apartment, in which case there is a good chance they can’t smoke there either. It seems as though we are heading straight for cigarette prohibition. It is down right alarming just how quickly these bans are occurring. What was once something that happened once in awhile is now becoming an almost daily event.
Sure, there are places that have managed to gain permission to allow smoking, such as private clubs and bars. But even these places are coming under attack from anti-smoking proponents who think that even these places should not allow smoking. It begs the question of where the line should be drawn between the government protecting the public and regulation just for regulation’s sake. The argument has been made that private clubs cut off from the public should be allowed because the members would be fully aware of the presence of smoking. However anti-smoking proponents feel that it should not be a matter of choice, that smokers should not be able to smoke even if they are fully aware of the risks.
Complicated matters even further is the fact that popular e cigarette starter kits are starting to be grouped in with the smoking bans despite the fact that they do not actually put out cigarette smoke (or smoke of any kind for that matter). Where does it stop? At this point it seems that smokers would rather the government just go ahead and declare cigarette prohibition instead of dangling the false carrot of choice over the heads of smokers (but not really).