If you smoke, Michael Grosz wants to go Victorian on your ass. Fed up with the habit's stubborn persistence, the North Dakota legislator has proposed a remedy his state first tried in 1895: banning the sale of cigarettes. His bill threatens tobacco sellers with a year in jail; users could get a month. A legislative committee has already approved the measure, which could be considered by North Dakota's House of Representatives any day now.
Passage is considered unlikely. The committee chairman told the Bismarck Tribune he and his colleagues voted for the bill mainly because they were peeved at the testimony of anti-smoking groups, who warned that prohibition doesn't work. Politicians never like to be reminded about the limits of their powers.