Can They at Least Smoke in Jail?

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Via Gene Healy comes news of a Baton Rouge smoking ban that threatens a year in jail for lighting up even outside public buildings if you haven't gone at least 25 feet before you take that first puff. Among the more depressing items here: "No smokers stepped forward to talk against the proposal." In the immortal words of Mugatu, doesn't anyone notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

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  1. But what about the poor male models who stand WITHIN 25 feet of those buildings? They might get the black lung, pop, and we have to protect them.

  2. “Cigarettes burn 12 minutes, but smokers inhale only 30 seconds of the smoke produced, [some doctor] said.”

    Two blatant lies in one compound sentence, argued and accepted solely from authority (though what authority a doctor has in this matter is…unimaginable, frankly), then repeated unchallenged in the “news,” when five or so minutes with a stopwatch–or even the experience of once, ever, having been within sight of anyone smoking a cigarette–would disprove them…unless the point of this council meeting was to nod at craven lies and bang a gavel on an out-of-fashion fraction of some powerless underclass, and the point of the news story was to propagandize on behalf of authority. Worked for Salem.

    “No smokers stepped forward to talk against the proposal.”

    No darkies showed up at my last cross-burning, either. I told you they were lazy.

  3. No smoking on my golf course??? What the…? That’s it, I’m a goin’ POSTAL on these creeps! Maybe they can tell me how many times I am allowed to stroke my DICK next! Oh by the way anybody shitting a stool longer than 12″ is gonna get sent to Gitmo.

  4. lol. In my country I can smoke everywhere I want. America is not democratic country any more… 🙂

  5. free mp3 download,

    Well, it may be the case that a majority of Americans support bans on smoking in “public areas.” In other words, democracy (if by that we simply mean majoritarianism) isn’t the problem.

  6. At the school where I used to teach, one of the campuses had some nice outdoor areas. However, to comply with smoking ordinances, students could only smoke in a designated area that was covered by a roof. It wasn’t enclosed, it would be like one of those picnic areas with a roof over it, but I never got the point.

    Things weren’t as strict on the other campuses (anywhere outside the building was fine). Either it’s because they were in a different municipality, or maybe it had something to do with the way that the buildings on that one campus were connected by covered (but not walled) outdoor corridors. I could see some law saying that technically not all of the outdoor areas are really “outdoors” or something like that, so a “designated outdoor area” must be created. Or something like that.

    In any case, leave it to lawmakers to create a situation where you have to smoke under a roof.

  7. Recently I was in Gatwick Airport in London. The designated indoor smoking area was a small semi-enclosure directly under an exhaust vent, where several dozen addicts were crammed together like a herd of cattle awaiting slaughter. I renewed my efforts to quit that day.

  8. Thoreau–

    Wouldn’t the roof pretty much negate any supposed health benefits of smoking in the great outdoors? It would prevent the smoke from rising up out of everyone’s way. Unless the authorities were afraid that five minutes’ exposure to the sun would give everybody melanoma.

  9. Louisiana cities are falling like dominoes on these smoking bans. Today I read Lake Charles is now considering one. Hopefully here in Livingston Parish, majority will rule and there will be no ban. But the anti-smoking advocates are running so many ads, I’m not so sure. I wonder who’s really behind these campaigns, it can’t just be do gooders. Is it lawyers bucking for secondhand smoke settlements??

  10. I have it on good authority that second-hand smoke is the leading cause of lung cancer in store window dummies. Hell! It’s more toxic than plutonium…or so one would think!

  11. Jennifer-

    But the roof made it an Official Designated Area. If I recall correctly, despite the roof it was still classified as an outdoor area, kind of like those picnic areas with awnings to keep out rain. But it was set apart from the other covered areas like passageways between buildings. One way or another, it satisfied the regulators.

    Idiotic, I know.

  12. Imagine what our military will be like in a decade or so, when all the grunts are members of the Pussy Generation. Countries like Grenada or the Turks and Caicos will be able to kick our ass with no difficulty at all. The one good thing about it is that insurgents in Iraq or Iran or wherever we are will stop blowing up our soldiers with bombs–all the insurgents will have to do is stand 200 yards upwind of our troops and light a Marlboro, and the soldiers will all run screaming away from the secondhand smoke.

  13. ” Is it the lawyers bucking for secondhand smoke settlements?”

    I have always wondered if maybe it was people who can’t stand Ayn Rand’s philosophy and/or her comments about smoking in ATLAS SHRUGGED. But yes, lawyers sounds about right.

  14. Jennifer-

    The insurgent stronghold will have monkey bars and swing sets. The troops will be terrified to approach it, and as soon as somebody says something that hurts their self-esteem they’ll run to their lawyers.

  15. Thoreau–

    Yeah. But look on the bright side: this decline and fall of a once-powerful nation sure is somethin’ to watch, huh?

  16. thoreau,

    Your high school was actually pretty beneficent. At ours, the Designated Smoking Area was completely exposed to the elements and God help the cold, wet and smoking pupil who thought he could move under the awning protecting the walkways between buildings.

  17. James
    Today I read Lake Charles is now considering one.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t Lake Charles already smell like ass? I remember going thru there on my family’s annual trip to see relatives in Texas and seem to recall it having a distinct odor. This was nearly 20 years ago and maybe they have cleaned things up or perhaps I’m mistaken about that being the location of the smell.

  18. My front porch is within 25 feet of a publicly used area (the sidewalk).

    So what the heck do property lines mean anymore if public property also gets an invisible force field of X feet beyond the property line? I can’t believe this “No such-and-such activity within X feet of a school” shit holds up in court.

  19. “Yeah. But look on the bright side: this decline and fall of a once-powerful nation sure is somethin’ to watch, huh?”

    It’s certainly educational, but for your continued viewing pleasure it’s probably best that you watch from a safe distance.

    (at least 25 feet)

  20. Smoking in public has always tested my liberaterian principles. Not a year sentence for smoking in public, but a 5 year sentence for throwing your butt on the ground. Maybe I could get behind that.

  21. Russ D,

    Your comment reminds me of the time Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wanted to enact a national “no casinos within 10000 feet (~2 miles) of an elementary school” law. Well, here in the Las Vegas Metro area, it’s tough to find anywhere in the valley that’s more than 10000 feet from any elementary school, because bus transportation must be provided if the school you’re assigned to is more than two miles away. If it had become law (it didn’t get anywhere close, from what I heard), The Strip and downtown Las Vegas would have been shut down. Great fun would have followed.

  22. Coarsetad,

    Does that include all other forms of littering, too?

  23. I work with a population of people who have mental “issues”. So far, noone has proposed that we make our group homes/facilities smoke-free (at least not without being laughed down), but it seems that it will be inevitable. When it happens I’ll start a running account of what happens and post it somewhere. It should be interesting.

  24. But the anti-smoking advocates are running so many ads, I’m not so sure. I wonder who’s really behind these campaigns, it can’t just be do gooders. Is it lawyers bucking for secondhand smoke settlements??

    Dude, if lawyers wanted settlements, they’d want MORE smoking –> so more injury –> so more settlements.

    Nobody ever thinks about those penny pinching uber-megalo-trillionaires the insurance companies, who are in fact behind every single nanny law on earth.

  25. Well, it IS Louisiana. It seems like we have so much legislation here that nobody bothers to even listen to it anymore. What do you expect from a state where the prevailing political philosophy is to always vote for the incumbent because at least you know how crooked they are, you don’t know how crooked the challenger might be!

    Suffice to say we’re probably pretty good at just ignoring laws around here by now. Despite the occasional police checkpoints, I know many folks who still refuse to wear a seatbelt. Heck, some of them consider the rare $50 ticket an affordable risk for them to enjoy the freedom of not having to wear that belt. He, it’s their body if they wanna risk it that way, I say let ’em. Somehow the legislature in this state never can seem to make policy agree with the otherwise lassez faire attitude of the people here.

    Maybe they think enacting more of these laws will make us care more about what those laws are?

    That must be it, so I guess they can just keep on passing laws and we’ll keep on ignoring them. *shrug*

  26. “Once I lit a cigarette, and they threw me in a cell…”

    –Stiv Bators (poet, prophet)

  27. I drew on my pipe
    And blew smoke to the ceiling
    In a great, grey sigh.

    (former poet, prophet)

  28. Wasn’t this the same state were it was legal to have open alcohol in you car until two years ago? My how times change.

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