Against smoking bans
It's called The War on Tobacco, only nobody makes war on an inanimate object. It's occasionally called The War on Big Tobacco. Big is a good target. Nobody likes Big. Big, as we all know, eats the little guys for lunch. And we side with the Little Guy.
Except in truth, in every aspect and phase of this little war it's been the little guys getting clobbered. It's the little guy, not the tobacco companies, who pays the exorbitant taxes and gets stuck with the major tab for Mr. Big's misdemeanors. The Attorneys General sued Mr. Big but then insisted that he pass on the costs to Mr. Little. And the only guys who made out big from that suit-with a gigantic transfer of wealth from the Little class- were a coven of Big Lawyers
And when smoking is suddenly banned in public places, it doesn't stop a tobacco company from having a cup of coffee, or a meal, or a glass of beer- who it stops is the tired shopper, the guy or girl on a work-break, or the family that wants to take its smoking mother-in-law to dinner and...you get the idea.
But the Warriors like to frame it as a blow against Mr. Big. After all, the cigarette that might be smoked with that beer or coffee is one less cigarette Mr. Big gets a chance to sell.
The argument passes absurd. The missing smokes are gonna get smoked. On the street. Or at home. Though it's actually more likely, that the dinner-or the beer-won't be bought to begin with if the cigarettes can't go with it.
Another Little Guy getting hurt. The guy who owns the restaurant; and the folks who work on his staff (many of whom smoke) who may soon be out of work.
The "Health Advocates, " of course, will attempt to convince you (through unsupportable- though seemingly scientific-sounding inference) that the health or the very lives of these workers are at stake. This is hyperbolic nonsense, as our paper intends to prove, but as a weapon in the ongoing war against smokers, it's their heaviest Heavy Gun. And legislatures everywhere have felt it pressed to their spines. We urge them to read our paper: it's their bullet-proof vest.
THE ANTI-SMOKING MOVEMENT: THE SCOLD WARRIORS
The Anti-Smoking movement has a lot in common with the Temperance movement, in both its instigators (crusaders), its tactics and strategies (cannily political; end-justifies-the-means), and finally in its goals.
The Temperance folks didn't want temperance (moderation) what they wanted-and got- was Prohibition.
That these are the Warrior's goals can be found in their own words. Virtually all, with their hair down, have admitted this in the wings. And if you like, we'll provide the quotes. But we're not there yet. Their immediate goals, as with Temperance, are merely incremental. Ban it here, ban it there. Get a critical mass of cities and pretty soon you can get the state; and then, exactly like Temperance, amend its constitution (just successfully done in Florida.)
What's important to mention is that, even in the increments, they hardly represent the Will of the People. That Temperance didn't either, despite its initial, political success, can be seen- rather clearly in hindsight- by its results.
THE ANTI-SMOKING MOVEMENT IS, BY NATURE, POLITICAL
It has to be. After all, the only way to coerce adults in a democracy to renounce a legal pleasure (even for the space of a bagel and cup of coffee) is .to make it illegal.