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Secondhand legislation

Don Rogers

Today’s the day for a bit of symbolic sanctimony – a lot of smoke about helping us all lead healthier lives.The county commissioners will pass a pretty sweeping smoking ban and pat themselves furiously on the back.Our heroes. Saved, from the evils of secondhand smoke in any bar or restaurant outside a town’s borders that hasn’t already offered a smoke-free environment on its own (there aren’t many, anymore).Saved, from smoking in a hotel room, a chairlift, a park and anywhere else the commissioners can legally save us from ourselves. Even if fewer and fewer of us smoke anymore. We need a law, yessir.Enforcement should be interesting. Rape, pillage, the occasional bank robbery and now calls to make sure the Edwards eateries are following through?Thank God they’ve taken serious action indeed to combat smoking’s second-hand ills.But, shoot, don’t tell them that more Americans died skiing in Colorado alone in winter 2001-02 than in that shooting war in Afghanistan. Surely, they’d pass a law if they knew how risky this behavior is to skiers and others around them. Maybe, to recognize global warming and all, automobiles should be banned. Motorists are a lot more danger to themselves and others than smokers, after all. And let’s not even get started with alcohol. Nah, smoking is a safe, if smug, habit to legislate against. With so few smokers, who is going to fight this anyway? Vail, Colorado


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