Tuesday, March 08, 2005

An Editorial Last Gasp, (pant, pant)

Well. The Pioneer Press strikes back, fuming resolutely about "the setback on passing a statewide smoking ban". Really. Setback for whom? Seems like an advance to me. Or is it the "last gasp of opposition to a reasonable public health decision for all Minnesotans." I object to the phrase "statewide smoking ban". Whas been proposed is a prohibition on smoking only in particular places, bars and restaurants. A ban is just that, a ban. Make smoking illegal, statewide. Then all Minnesotans can "enjoy going out to eat without having to plot and plan for a destination that has no blue haze wafting from the smoking section". They wouldn't have to plot and plan who would drive, the smoking crazed Hunter's, ("yecch, our clothes will smell Mom") or the reasonable and pleasant Keeler's. No more running the nicotine gauntlet outside the Ramsey county Government building. Poof! Gone! Everywhere! Will the chicken hearted legislators just say no to tobacco? No to that tax revenue...eh? I mean, come on, if "Reducing the harmful effects of smoke is a health care cost issue at a time when runaway increases for the sorts of serious illnesses that smoking can cause are driving up the cost of insurance " let's go here! Wipe it out! WE DEMAND ACTION NOW!! Because, as a matter of equity, "the same rules should apply" whether the "restaurant is in Hibbing or Hastings." Or a car driving in Pipestone. Or a boat on Red Lake. Or a tractor in Grand Forks. A pedestrian in Rochester. A private plane flying over Plymouth. Cars stuck in 7:14 AM traffic, on the crosstown, with single passengers, or two, or three. After all, "It's in the public interest for proponents to find a way to advance the statewide smoking ban this year."

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