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Old 04-11-2006, 09:54 AM   #1
agm1020's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Worcester, MA
Posts: 185
Smoking ban defeated in NH

Some good news on this front for a change.

Originally Posted by Two Guys Smoke Shop Newsletter
Granite State defeats smoking ban by one vote

By the thinnest of margins, New Hampshire legislators defeated a bill yesterday to institute a smoking ban in indoor bars and restaurants. Although the bill easily passed the state’s lower chamber, the measure failed in the state Senate by a 12-11 margin.
Introduced by the typical mix of do-gooders, the measure ran into senators who took the state’s “Live Free or Die” motto seriously. "I'm surprised that a lot of the 'Live Free or Diers' who usually confront us with statements like 'stay out of our life' or 'we don't need more legislation' were the ones asking us to ban smoking," said Senator Carl Johnson, according to a report in the New York Times.
The bill was hardly riding a crest of enthusiasm among the public. An editorial in the Manchester Union-Leader put the issue plainly: “Granite Staters have always prided themselves on preserving their individual liberties by strictly limiting the power and scope of government. Traditionally our government has restrained itself from passing laws that protect people from themselves. It’s why we don’t mandate that drivers wear seat belts or motorcycle riders wear helmets. If the state bans smoking in bars and restaurants, it will cross that line
.“The ban is portrayed as necessary to protect innocent non-smokers. Yet it is a myth that people are forced to work, dine and dance in thick clouds of tobacco smoke. Everyone has a choice, and there are plenty of smoke-free restaurants and nightspots. Their number grows almost daily. Anyone who eats out in New Hampshire can see it won’t be long before smokers will have a difficult time finding a restaurant or bar that welcomes them. Eventually, smokers will have a few bars and restaurants of their own, and everywhere else will be non-smoking. Passing this ban will not save non-smokers. It will eliminate niche establishments that cater to smokers.

“No matter what one thinks of smoking, people should remain free to open businesses where smokers can socialize with each other. This debate is not about the virtues of smoking; it is about the rights of property owners. If people want the long arm of the law to reach into all bars and restaurants and forcibly remove cigarettes from the mouths of all smokers, they are free to live in any other New England state.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain
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