Psst. Wanna Cigarette?

|

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.

NEXT: Gas-Guzzling SUV Haters

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “Politicians never like to be reminded about the limits of their powers.”

    What happened to Constitutional limits? We needed a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol; wouldn’t one be needed to ban tobacco?

  2. Seems like we need a Constitutional amendment to ban just about anything, if you read the document. Banning tobacco, at best falls under “Interstate Commerce” and not within the state’s jurisdiction, I would think. But I’m just an engineer who has read the Constitution….what do I know.

  3. It would be a bummer if all 9 people in North Dakota couldn’t buy cigarettes…seriously, a state ban is so far from constitutional it’s a wonder why the good people of North Dakota don’t consider a ban on their legislature’s time-wasting.

  4. That would reduce North Dakota cigarette sales to the reservations.

  5. In response to Steve: The Federal Govt has no Constitutional authority to ban smoking, but smoking is not PROTECTED by the Constitution either. So, unless a State’s constitution porbits It from banning smoking then It can if It so chooses. Unless, of course, you want to make a 9th amendment case;that itsa Right of the People that just happened not to be mentioned in the previous 8.

  6. If they wanted to make smoking a crime nationwide and prevent future legislatures from reversing it, they would need a constitutional amendment. And, as we saw with prohibition, even that can be reversed if there is enough support.

  7. Cigarettes should be banned from the United States. “Tobacco is Wacko for Kids” is an anti-smoking ad used in comic books. This is misleading because Tobacco is Wacko for Everyone. One reason cigarettes shoud be prohibited in the United States is smoking is exceedingly harmful to peoples’ health. Smoking can cause lung and mouth cancer. It can also cause heart diease which is the number one killer for adults in America. Dmphysema is also a diease you can get from smokingCetting sick, often and missing work is not unsual for people that smoke. Smokers teet can also turn yellow from smoking and second had smoke can cause the same problems. Smoking is even more lethal than being an alcohlic and smoking causes about 440,000 premature deaths a year. Another reason the United States should make smoking illegal is because it is very costly. People who smoke spend so much money on cigarettes that if they saved the money they spent on cigarettes from when they were sixteen to sixty they would have around $2 million. Also, smokers have so many health problems that the annual health rate iis about $157 billion just for smokers health problems and second hand smoke.Health insurance is also up because of the ill smokers. Anti smoking programs cost millions of dollars so if we just banned it would be a lot more economical and we wouldn’t have a problem with smokers. Smoking should also be banned because it effects everyone not only smokers. Non-smokers that are around smokers can get the same kind of cancers and diseases as smokers from second-hand smoke. 9926 people have died from second-hand smoke in 2003 already. Dveryone has to pay more money for health insurance because of health problems smokers have and that’s not fair to people who don’t smoke. People in movies smoke which make kids and teens think smoking is cool and so they try it so it effects anyone who simply want to watch a movie. Smoking is horrible for everyone. Smoking should be banned in the United States.

  8. Amanda, people don’t quit smoking because they suddenly find out it’s bad for them. Everyone knows that. We all have the right to smoke, or drink alcohol, or pierce our bodies, etc. The government should stay out of our lives. The goverment is here to protect us from invaders, not from ourselves. I prefer to make my own choices regarding my life and body thank you.

  9. Yeah your right Rebbaca, but the people that smoke not only are making decisons for themselves. They’re also other people that are around their smoke.

  10. typo: the other people

  11. Smoking is just terrible.. your completely retarded if you HAVE to live from it…

  12. I have noticed that the “tobacco is wacko” commercials make some dangerously bold statements. For example, the ad where a kid goes into a dark alley, gets his tongue pierced by strangers in black suits, and the guy. “join me for a cigarette?” and the kid says “whaddya think I’m crazy?”…apparantly the kid thought it was ok to risk AIDS or Hepatitis, but a little tar and niccotine was crazy…please correct me if my interpretation is incorrect…i’m sure you people probably think it is.

  13. Tobacco just kills you!!!!!!!!

  14. Tobacco just kills you!!!!!!!!

  15. I am currently working on a documented project for my language arts class, on cigarettes should be banned from the united states due to all the teenagers thinking that they have to smoke to be cool. tobacco is wacko!!!

  16. Yes! Tobacco is bad for you I agree! They should be banned an outlawed!

  17. smoke it’s fun

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.