From the other side of the pond, an update on New Orleans‘ proposed smoking ban, H/T Magnetic:
After listening to all of Wednesday night’s speakers, the full City Council will take up the issue at it’s next meeting on Jan. 22. If passed, businesses will have 90 days to comply.
The proposal to ban smoking has roused fierce controversy:
The sweeping smoking ban that City Council members LaToya Cantrell and Susan Guidry have proposed for most of New Orleans has sparked a level of debate and public outcry on both sides rarely seen in city politics these days.
The passion of the debate boiled down to which was the greater right: The right of nonsmokers to have a drink or listen to live music unencumbered by a cloud of cigarette-induced haze or the right of establishments to not alienate a smoking clientele critical to their bottom line.
“I’m going to ask us all, as a community, to embrace inevitability that has already been embraced in Chicago, in Los Angeles, in New York and in London and in Paris,” said songwriter Paul Sanchez. “We can look to the future or we can cling to the past a bit longer and see where that leads us.”
But for bar patron Elizabeth Stella, her right to smoke was part of what makes New Orleans one of the more permissive cities in the country.
“Let me remind you that this is New Orleans. It’s not New York. it’s not Chicago. It’s not Seattle. It’s a party town,” she said. “This town has always been known as a freedom town and I am going to do my part to keep it that way by speaking up at every opportunity I have.”
So the non-smokers have got rights. And the establishments have got rights. What happened to the smokers’ rights?
But what’s all this about “embracing inevitability”? It’s one of the tricks of the antismokers to claim that the future is going to be unstoppably smoke-free, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, so the only thing to do is “embrace the future” and stop “clinging to the past.” It applies in other spheres: for example that the EU is the future for Europeans, and that is the direction in which the tide of history is flowing, whether you like it or not.
I’m with Elizabeth Stella. There’s nothing inevitable about it: free peoples choose what they want.
And Paul Sanchez’ music is really boring anyway. I couldn’t get 30 seconds into this clip of him singing.
Update: Via Taking Liberties, NOLA online petition.
On this side of the pond, the Blocked Dwarf tells me that:
the forces of evil – or the HMRC as they are affectionately known – are gathering to stop the supply of whole leaf tobacco to private persons. They have issued a ‘consultation’ document and are inviting responses until the end of January.
Our friends over at N2D have prepared a copypasta response so every home shredder who enjoys being able to purchase whole leaf tobacco can respond- ANONYMOUSLY.
It is vital that HMRC get as many ‘anti’ responses as possible otherwise their proposals will just sail through on a sea of recommendations from the usual suspects.
I’ll have to see whether I’ve got any pasta for the copypasta response.
At this rate, pretty soon you won’t be able to grow carrots in your own garden.
The consultation document mentions the requirements of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). It probably doesn’t mention that one of the requirements of the convention is that the tobacco industry should be excluded from consultations. And that will include all smokers, who have been designated as “industry front groups.” So any criticism of the proposals will be ignored.
But if you can complain anonymously, why not?