Smoking Bans

Brickbat: Smoked Out


The Boston Parks and Recreation Commission has banned smoking in all city parks. Those caught violating the ban face a $250 fine. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, said the ban will make the parks safer for nonsmokers. "Secondhand smoke in any concentration is dangerous," she said. "There's no safe level of exposure."

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  1. I’ll bet Barbara Ferrer believes in homeopathy, too.

    1. That would be truly ironic.

  2. I’m going to guess that she’d ban sunlight on the grounds that there’s no safe level of exposure to carcinogens. (Nevermind the Vitamin D shortage that’d result. We might have to use the Nork method of extracting it from ideology)

    1. I just got test results from my physical back today. The only note was that my vitamin D levels are below normal. Guess I’ll have to spend some time outside when I escape this woman’s grasp and go to San Diego in a couple of weeks.

  3. I hate smoking as much as the next non-smoker does, but not nearly as much as I hate uppity bureaucrats like Barbara Ferrer, pulling unscientific claims out of her ass.


    1. How about everybody list all the things that other people do that they don’t like, then we join all the lists together and ban all of it.

      1. I hate other people’s lists!

  4. “Secondhand smoke in any concentration is dangerous,” she said. “There’s no safe level of exposure.”

    Unsafe at any speed concentration!

    She probably has never heard of things like radiation hormesis, and would dismiss it out of hand if she had.

    1. But that’s mystical invisible waves, not the smelly particulate matter your respiratory system was built to try and filter out.

      1. Cmon, everyone knows that radiation is bad which is why food irradiation has been successfully suppressed by people like Ms Ferrer.

  5. Question: Do more people die from secondhand smoke or from speeding on public highways?

    1. Question: what do people do more – smoke or speed? (And I don’t mean meth)

      I don’t support the nonsense she’s selling, but risk assessment doesn’t benefit from gross miscomparisons.

      1. *Not that it’s her place to do our risk assessment for us.

      2. Speed according to the signs, or according to road design? Because the two figures are going to be much different.

    2. I don’t think a car can travel fast enough for the speed to be fatal. Try again.

      1. It’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden stop at the end.

  6. There is no safe level of exposure to dipshits like Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission.

    1. Simply reading her name has given me rickets.

  7. Duke Silver must have been on vacation.

  8. That’s funny…I could swear I read recently that there is no causal link between second hand smoke and lung cancer. Too bad the science was settled before all the facts were in.

    1. Welcome to the FDA! Also the DEA, CDC, EPA, DOE, …

  9. You’re missing the big story – clicking on the link takes you to a real Boston Globe story and not a Reason 24/7 story with a link attached.

    And it’s interesting that the linked story is illustrated with a photo of cigarette butts littering the Commons rather than a photo of the corpses of the innocent victims of second-hand smoke which – I’m sure – also litter the Commons.

    But the really interesting thing: …making it illegal to smoke cigarettes, marijuana, and other “lighted or vaporized” substances … I am assuming means e-cigarettes are banned as well. But you don’t actually ‘smoke’ e-cigarettes or any other vapor – or does this mean asthmatics are fucked if they pull out a bronchial inhaler in public?

    1. or does this mean asthmatics are fucked if they pull out a bronchial inhaler in public?

      And Vick’s Vap-o-Rub is also out.

      1. Can’t take the top off your hot coffee on a cold morning either.

        1. Don’t worry, Dunks will get an exception written in.

        2. Stillsuits are manditory

  10. Some of my friends and family wonder why I prefer to live in the boonies where things like all-powerful Health Departments have little to no sway. I am not going to criticize people’s decisions to live in cities, but if you want to live with myriad limitations imposed by others go right ahead in your little enclave. Don’t try to extend it outward.

    Of course, what intrusive regulations always do is to extend outward, as it becomes clear that people will move outside the enclave to avoid them, offering opportunities for smuggling and general nose thumbing at the regs.

    1. Might want to keep that “enclave” fairly tiny. Factor in the EPA, Forest Service, State Forest and DNR agencies alone and the flashlight shined up your ass is akin to looking at the sun. Much more intrusive in many ways.

  11. I assume she intends to ban all automobile traffic from the vicinty of the park too.

    1. Smoking bans are meant only to make it more difficult for smokers to smoke.

    2. She (Barbara Ferrer) didn’t ban anything. She hasn’t that authority. She, as well as others, spoke in favor of the ban before the Parks Commission vote. No one spoke out against it.

  12. Relax, now that nanny Bloomberg is out of the picture, and de Blasio is distracted by giving horse stables to political contributers, Boston is simply trying to reclaim it’s title as nanniest town in America.

  13. I almost got a non smoker to light up at the bar one night during an argument that got started by his belief that second hand smoke is more harmful than actually smoking. I have heard this on more than one occasion and the lack of sense the idea carries gets me foaming. It’s people like Barbara that perpetuate these myths.

    1. people like Barbara perpetuate these myths

      She’s just the whipping boy in the story, you know. The handy villain. Oddly, the members of the Boston Parks and Recreation Commission and the Boston City Council (the actual banners) were not named.

      1. The Boston Parks and Recreation Commission approved a smoking ban Monday in city-run parks, immediately making it illegal to smoke cigarettes, marijuana, and other “lighted or vaporized” substances under the penalty of a $250 fine.

        1. Nice. But Ferrer is not a member of either The Boston Parks and Recreation Commission nor the Boston City Council, the actual banners in this story. She had no vote. Yet her name was cited as the villain, not the names of the actual voters who approved the ban. Reading is fundamental.

          1. Who cares? She was in favor of it so she’s just as complicit.

            1. She was in favor of it so she’s just as complicit

              Being “in favor” of something makes one “complicit?”
              Wow. So much for freedom of thought.

          2. Without this jumped-up little pruse-lipped nanny pushing the ban, it wouldn’t have happened, is my bet.

            Besides, she said what she said, and she got what she wanted. Why shouldn’t we bust her chops?

            1. Because she’s obviously being used as a whipping boy in the story, a sleazy journalistic gimmick to whip up the hate? She didn’t have a vote. She expressed an opinion. Tough shit if you can’t handle differences of opinion.

  14. Boston should just order non-smokers to shelter in place until the smokers vacate the area.

  15. I live in Boston(ish), don’t smoke, and hate being around secondhand smoke. I am tempted to go down to the Common just to have my first ever cigarette.

    1. And I’ll make some alt-text while I’m there too.

  16. Remember people, Obama wasn’t the one who forced you to participate in economic activity. He isn’t even a member of congress!

  17. “What good does it do me, after all, if an ever-watchful authority keeps an eye out to ensure that my pleasures will be tranquil and races ahead of me to ward off all danger, sparing me the need even to think about such things, if that authority, even as it removes the smallest thorns from my path, is also absolute master of my liberty and my life” ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

  18. That really a good news, smoking do harm to health.

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