Illinois’ statewide smoking ban recently came into effect and it has shut down the annual Big Smoke event sponsored by Cigar Aficionado magazine, held annually in a reserved hotel conference hall. Local authorities had initially said that the new law wouldn’t rule out such a gathering, but there turns out to be no exemption. Thus a ban that was marketed as a means of protecting people from involuntary exposure to second-hand smoke is being used to tell a group of cigar smokers that they can’t convene publicly anywhere in the entire state.
Health and economics are side issues in the debate over smoking bans; both of these issues can be addressed by other means. The heart of the matter is that these bans do violence to people’s rights to property and free association.
[Via the Stogie Guys.]