Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Ban tobacco?

Knowing that it's sure to make his fellow conservatives wonder, Mark Byron joins our Surgeon General in favor of banning tobacco products.

I can understand Mark's position, and while I don't completely disagree, I don't completely agree either. Primarily, I have the "recreational tobacco user" in mind. Take me. I've never smoked a cigarette, but I have tried chew, and I'll occasionally smoke a cigar, although I can't say that I inhale (spare me the Clinton jokes, please). I am not addicted to tobacco, and my occasional usage does not harm my health. So why should I be denied my occasional cigar because of someone else's problem?

I can already think of one counterargument: perhaps I should sacrifice my occasional cigar for the sake of the common good. Perhaps.

Switching sides again, what about Prohibition? Many of the arguments for banning tobacco echo arguments in favor of outlawing alcohol, so one might legitimately wonder how a ban on tobacco would be any different.

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