Nanny State

Smokeless Tobacco Bans Lubricate the Slippery Slope With Gross Brown Spit

Starting today, professional ballplayers at Dodger Stadium will be legally prohibited from chewing tobacco, because of hypocritical local pols who recognize no restraint on their power

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Today marks the first Dodgers home game in the stadium's 54-year history in which the ballplayers won't be able to indulge in their gross but decidedly legal habit of chewing tobacco. That's because the Los Angeles City Council decided in January (by a 14-0 vote, natch), to make the use of smokeless tobacco illegal at the city's sporting venues, subject to the same category of punishment as defecating in public (nope, not making that up).

In today's L.A. Times, I go all Roberto Alomar on the face of paternalistic local pols. Excerpt:

The City Council says it wants "to set the right example for America's youth." I guess the lesson is: Don't get too famous, or else your otherwise legal personal habits will become subject to the whims of attention-seeking politicians.

As Councilman David Ryu explained: "Our kids shouldn't be forced to watch the sports heroes they trust using tobacco. It's important we hold professional athletes accountable when it comes to protecting our children and neighborhoods."

But to paraphrase Bryce Harper, that's a clown justification, bro. "Professional athletes" are to "protecting neighborhoods" what opera singers are to garbage collection.

And not only that, these same sanctimonious blowhards have carved out exceptions to the city's many other tobacco bans on lucrative property owned by the city, because ca$h.

Read the whole thing here. Reason on tobacco bans here.