March 17. 2015 6:11PM

Nicotine jihad: An even more tyrannical smoking ban


One New Hampshire state senator has proposed banning virtually all indoor smoking in the state — even pretend smoking. When the nannies go this far, it is not about health. It is about control.

Sen. David Pierce, D-Lebanon, is the sole sponsor of Senate Bill 105, which would amend the state’s indoor smoking ban. Pierce’s bill removes the phrase “regulating smoking” from the law’s statement of purpose section and replaces it with the phrase “prohibiting smoking,” which it defines to include electronic cigarettes that produce a vapor that simulates smoke.

The bill would ban “smoking” in all workplaces and enclosed places accessible to the public. The current ban excludes private clubs; Pierce’s bill does not. It is so broad that it would appear to include cigar bars, which the bill does not exempt.

The excuse for passing the original smoking ban was to protect the public from secondhand smoke. Supporters said waitresses and bartenders were made to jeopardize their health in exchange for a paycheck. Preposterous, but the argument was persuasive in the Legislature.

Pierce’s bill would outlaw voluntary smoking clubs (or groups trying to quit by transitioning to e-cigarettes) from lighting up in any enclosed space that is even sometimes open to the public. It is not about protecting the public; it is about modifying individuals’ behavior by force.