Unhappy with the scope of his nannyism, Michael Bloomberg has found one last social behavior to regulate before the close of his authoritarian-tenure. Having already conquered the vital task of regulating trans-fats, cigarette smoking, and high-capacity sodas in the Big Apple, it would seem there were few perks of adulthood left to regulate or restrict. But it appears he’s found at least one more. . . What better way to cinch his legacy as a nannycrat than to ban a less dangerous alternative to dangerous cigarette smoking: e-cigarettes.
According to the Daily Mail, the New York City Council voted to ban the use of e-cigarettes in public spaces on Thursday. These public spaces include all privately owned restaurants and places of business (other than specially designated smoke shops) as well as parks, beaches, bus stops, and other publicly owned outdoor areas.
In other words, NYC is doing its best to outlaw a healthier and unobtrusive alternative to Lucky Strikes, Camel Lights, and Newport Menthols. But, hey, like so many other New York City laws – including the Bloomberg led effort to regulate away the 17th ounce of soda – common sense is clearly not the driving force behind the legislation.
The original smoking ban in New York City, while trampling on the property rights of private businesses, was largely sold on the premise that it would improve the health of the city. “Secondhand smoke kills” went the ads. “Save the kids from secondhand smoke,” pleaded the advocates of big government. And while the infringement on private property rights was troubling, calls for a smoking ban were ultimately accepted by a reluctant public because of the benefit of a healthier New York.
So what, pray tell, is the sales pitch for outlawing a cigarette alternative that emits no smoke, scent, or toxin? What is the excuse for government regulating the inhalation of water vapor as an alternative to tobacco smoke?
Well… Apparently it looks like a cigarette. (GASP! *coughcough*)