July 07, 2003


Grow it, sell it, tax it -- just donít smoke it:

The authorities in Lexington - the second largest city in Kentucky, a leading tobacco-producing state - have prohibited smoking in public places.

This kind of freedom-crunching is worse than anything Ashcroft is trying to pull. Oldtimers arenít taking it well:

"I'm 85, have not seen a doctor for at least 18 years and smoke at least a pack of cigarettes daily. I would appreciate it if they would prove that my second-hand smoke has harmed anyone," Mable Smart wrote in a letter published by the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper.

It canít be done, Maíam.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 7, 2003 06:38 PM

Lexington sounds like Canberra.

Do they want to hand out heroin and turn a blind eye to cannabis use as well?

Posted by: Gilly at July 7, 2003 at 06:47 PM

This will be my first time commenting on your site although I read you all the time.

What are your thoughts, (although I think I know), on the myth that "53,000 Americans DIE every year from second hand smoke!" (insert horror music here)

From my understanding, the results of this study went something like this:

"Did this person live with someone who smoked?"


"Then mark them down as another victim of second-hand smoke."

I understand you are Australian but would like to hear what you have to say on these types of studies. Perhaps, if I'm right, I can have more fire power for the hippie neighbors who think I'm full of it when I tell them this study is false.

If I'm wrong, point me in the direction to find the facts.


Posted by: serenity at July 7, 2003 at 08:01 PM

disclaimer: i dig your site. i read it daily. i wish more of my countrymen were like you.

point: bite me. both myself, my mom and my brother, have illnesses directly related to my father's 3 pack a day habit.

do note the correct use of apostrophe.;)

Posted by: theleftbrain at July 7, 2003 at 08:04 PM

Very good. But where are your capitals?

Posted by: slatts at July 7, 2003 at 08:57 PM

Very sorry to hear of your illness, Leftbrain.

Ironically, the Lexington legislation wouldn't have helped you. It only bans smoking in public areas, not at home.

Posted by: tim at July 7, 2003 at 11:19 PM

"Grow it, sell it, tax it"

you forget the key to them all: "subsidize it"

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at July 8, 2003 at 01:28 AM

It's not so bad, we can still drink bourbon in public places.

Posted by: Mr Kentucky at July 8, 2003 at 01:38 AM

Well, cigarette smoke makes me nauseous, and then I throw up. Depends on whether you think that's harm, but it's unpleasant for both me and everyone else around.

Posted by: Mac Thomason at July 8, 2003 at 02:46 AM

Second hand vomit!

Posted by: tim at July 8, 2003 at 02:59 AM

Jesus H. Christ, I leave my home state for just 9 freakin' years, and the whole place goes to pot.

Posted by: hbchrist at July 8, 2003 at 03:11 AM

Yeah, but have you heard that woman cough or seen her wraithlike skin?


Posted by: hln at July 8, 2003 at 03:12 AM

It canít be done, Maíam.

Oh, second-hand smoke doesn't induce asthma attacks and bronchitis in susceptible individuals? I'll try to remember that the next time I'm spending a week or two wheezing and coughing after a visit to a smoke-filled bar.

Just because there's no scientifically established link between secondhand smoke and cancer doesn't mean that there are no scientifically established negatives to second-hand smoke.

Sure, people have a right to smoke. They have a right to urinate, too. But they no more have a right to blow smoke into my face than I have a right to piss in theirs. :)

Posted by: Dan at July 8, 2003 at 04:51 AM

But will they possibly admit that segregating the smokers from the non-smokers, yet permitting both groups to enjoy a social situation to each's liking would be a LOT more fair...nah...that would be to deny that smokers are now become non-persons except for all the lovely tax money they contribute to everything else.

Since the odds are very good that tobacco taxes have provided funds more than adequate to cover all the health costs even remotely attributable to smoking, this would put paod to all their guff.

Posted by: MommaBear at July 8, 2003 at 06:00 AM

1) There are bars that don't allow smoking, or have non-smoking sections. 2) Smokers generally don't go out of their way to blow smoke in people's faces.

How 'bout we make a deal? I won't blow smoke in your face if you get off my freakin' back and let me have a cig with my beer instead of stomping on my right to use a perfectly legal product in a public space owned by someone who has decided to let people use that product? Start your own non-smoking bar with optional face pissing.

Posted by: Ms Kentucky at July 8, 2003 at 06:04 AM

There is an interesting scientific web site which discusses second hand smoke (among other things). A warning: these guys are proof oriented. If you make a comment, you better have a valid reference. Opinions do not count and are summarily dealt with.



Posted by: Rick Caird at July 8, 2003 at 06:48 AM

serenity at July 7, 2003 08:01 PM

See also Junkscience.com

And www.numberwatch.co.uk

Posted by: John Anderson, RI USA at July 8, 2003 at 12:50 PM

Here's a good couple.


Posted by: Kalroy at July 8, 2003 at 05:23 PM

In view of U.S. anti-discrimination laws, it seems smokers have a case to sue the Lexington dictators into bankruptcy.A major joint action in the making, this should be a breeze for some U.S. law firms. Surely there are some firms in U.S. who can skin the communistos alive, or are they timid?

Posted by: d at July 9, 2003 at 02:28 PM