When you’ve taxed cigarettes into oblivion and banned them in virtually all private businesses, what’s the next step down to the road to total prohibition? Oregon’s got an idea:
Now, if some Oregon lawmakers have their way, buying and smoking cigarettes will be limited to people 21 and older.
Likening tobacco to alcohol is just the latest swipe at smoking by health-conscious legislators. House Bill 2974 gets its first airing today in the House Human Services Committee.
“I was a high school administrator, and I saw students at a very young age have an addiction to tobacco,” says Rep. Betty Komp, D-Woodburn, the chief backer of the proposal.
Her co-sponsor on the bill, Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, wants to take the restriction even further by making the dizzying drug nicotine available by prescription only. […]
Democrats who control the House appear game. “Any policies that reduce teen smoking,” said House Speaker Dave Hunt, D-Gladstone, at a media briefing Tuesday, “are on the table.”
Under Komp’s bill, it would be a violation for anyone younger than 21 to possess tobacco. Anyone caught selling to minors would merit a $100 fine.
Crazy, yes? That’s what we said about telling private business owners they can’t allow smoking among consenting adults on their own property. This is the simply the logical next step of a zealous anti-tobacco movement gone out of control, abetted by ordinary people willing to sacrifice basic freedoms so as not to be annoyed by the smoking minority.
[Via the Stogie Guys’ Twitter feed, a great source for the latest tobacco news.]