John Banzhaf, George Washington University law school prof, head of Action on Smoking and Health, and the ultimate publicity-seeking killjoy, gets it.
For children, even the bad children who deserve no presents, to live, Santa Claus's smoking must die. In an open email - a literary genre that is to serious public discussion what Love Is... is to comic strips - Banzhaf thanks Santa for finally switching to Nicorette.
Santa Claus will deliver toys this year without his pipe - and its smoke encircling his head like a wreath - because of growing concerns about his health, the health of Mrs. Claus and children everywhere, and the growing number of court orders and even laws prohibiting smoking in homes with children.
This way, he said in an email to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), he will not be endangering the health of billions of children, many of whom have medical conditions which make them especially sensitive to secondhand tobacco smoke....
Santa's decision was announced by Prof. John Banzhaf of ASH who had written a letter to old Saint Nick. Instead of asking for presents, Banzhaf asked Santa to recognize that times have changed, and that what was once seen as a harmless habit is now a deadly danger to children. Santa agreed....
"Christmas is about children, and it is wonderful that Santa Claus is setting such a wonderful example in protecting them from tobacco smoke pollution. The most important and lasting gift any smoker can give a child is to give up smoking, or at least to stop smoking around his or her children," said Banzhaf.
Reason's Jacob Sullum has taken issue with Banzhaf over the years, a fan of fast-food lawsuits and so much more that makes our lives just a little less fun. Read more here.
If you must watch watch one Christmas-related video this year, watch A Joe Biden (War on) Christmas, currently burning up the Youtubes like Santa's tobacco used to.