Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Up in Smoke 

Okay, for the most part I tend to ignore blatantly stupid stories. I give up, I need to vent on this one: The city councils of Santa Cruz and nearby Capitola are considering banning smoking on beaches. They would be the first cities on Northern California with such a ban, but several LA area cities already have bans in place.

I can understand the logic. Secondhand smoke is nasty, nasty stuff. If you're out somewhere and someone is blowing smoke in your face, that is unacceptable. However only in California would people more concerned about secondhand smoke in the beach than the smog or water quality there. Oh sure, drive to the beach in your gas-guzzling SUV, put more smog into the air, but if a person lights up down the beach it's time to get righteous. It's almost enough to make me actually feel sorry for smokers. But tobacco companies can still rot in hell.

Yes, even with all the fruits and nuts in Cali, I still can't think of living anywhere else. Our Governor can beat up your Governor.

Enough ranting for tonight. I feel better now.

While I am very much opposed to the laws banning smoking on the beach, a few ideas are in order here.

Disregard the second hand smoke issue(yea right, we both know that's the fanatic topic of the past decade). Consider it from a litter point of view. All those cigarette butts left in the sand. Such a waste of money and man power to clean the beaches every week. Everyone stepping on the discarded butts, nasty!

Right now, as a city by city issue, it's bearable. When the costal commission or the state finally get involved (as I'm pretty sure they will) to ban it totally from the beaches, then what? Banning it on public parks? All state owned lands? And then, of course, they will ban it inside your own home and car. For me, right now, it's not a question of if, it's a matter of when.....
Agreed. The scary questio n is: Where will it end? Smoking, IMHO, is a nasty disgusting habit that really can't be defended. However, people should have the right to engauge in stupid behavior because we don't need Nanny Government telling us what to do (see FCC and Media Censorship). Also, it's misplaced priorities. I imagine you have to be right next to the guy to get secondhand smoke, but tens of millions of people everyday breathe in that infamous LA smog. But of course, it easier to pick on smokers and say we are taking a stand for health.
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