Massachusetts town weighs nation's 1st tobacco ban
The cartons of Marlboros, cans of Skoal and packs of Swisher Sweets are hard to miss stacked near the entrance of Vincent's Country Store, but maybe not for much longer: All tobacco products could become contraband if local health officials get their way.Because, you know, this is really going to stamp out smoking in a town of 7,700 residents. Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here. The town of Westminster is all of 37 square miles, about the same size as the small city next to the town I grew up in. You can drive across town in a half-hour, if there's a lot of traffic, and you traverse the long way. So, from the very center of the town you're no more than 15 minutes away from a town that *doesn't* have its head squarely inserted in its own rectum.
This sleepy central Massachusetts town of 7,700 has become an improbable battleground in America's tobacco wars. On Wednesday, the Board of Health will hear public comment on a proposed regulation that could make Westminster the first municipality in the United States to ban sales of all tobacco products within town lines.
Any bets whether the geniuses behind this measure support marijuana legalization?
It's an awful lot like the town that banned bottled water. It's not going to stop anything. Heck, it's not going to even slow it down. Heck, the town isn't that far from New Hampshire where there's no sales tax and cigarette taxes are lower, anyways... Folks are still going to smoke. They're still going to buy their cigarettes from somewhere, only now it won't be in that town. It'll send smokers beyond the borders, decreasing revenue. Great plan, there, Westminster.
Did you stop alcohol sales, too? Because while we can debate whether or not secondhand smoke is real, dangerous, etc., there's no question that alcohol contributes to traffic fatalities and domestic abuse. Great job picking and choosing which sin to outlaw, you sanctimonious nitwits. You see, few people smoke. LOTS more drink. By banning cigarettes, you inconvenience a small number, risking nothing. By banning alcohol, you tick off most people, which is far riskier.
And make no mistake, fans of Budweiser: the nanny state has you squarely in their sights...
That is all.
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(image courtesy of Robb Allen)