It doesn’t happen often enough, so here are two pieces of good news related to smoking bans. First, Governor Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited smoking in all California parks and beaches:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday vetoed a measure that would have banned smoking at state parks and beaches, calling it “an improper intrusion of government into people’s lives.”
Schwarzenegger, whose cigar habit led him to build a smoking tent at the state Capitol, said in his veto message that the proposed regulation, which would have been the most far-reaching tobacco legislation in the nation, went too far. Such rules should be left up to cities, counties and local park officials, the governor said.
“There is something inherently uncomfortable about the idea of the state encroaching in such a broad manner on the people of California,” the veto message said. “This bill crosses an important threshold between state power … and local decision-making.”
Then just a few minutes from my hometown in Conroe, TX, the city council has reversed a ban on smoking in bars in record time:
Two months after enacting one of the most comprehensive smoking bans in the area, the Conroe City Council has removed bars from the new ordinance because of the economic impact it was having on business owners.
“I lost $15,000 in March,” said David Luttrell of Malone’s Pub. “It was like someone pulled a switch. I lost $15,000 in April. I had to lay off four employees and seven bands. It has also affected my suppliers and vendors too.”
After hearing similar stories from other bar owners, the council reversed its position Thursday to allow smoking in bar, which are defined as “pubs, ice houses, beer joints and saloons.”
[Hat tips to the Stogie Guys and my dad.]