Michael Schaus

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is trying to ban smoking… Everywhere. Well, at least everywhere someone might be working, so I guess that’s not as many places as you might think. (Hat tip to Obamanomics.) The CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has suggested banning all tobacco consumption at every work place in the nation… Because, ya know, the nanny-state can never be too big, right?

The ban would apply to not only office buildings, restaurants, and retail stores, but it would also apply to any outdoor location (such as construction sites, landscaping work, and even places like commercial farms). Oh… And it’s not limited to only cigarettes. Even smokeless alternatives would be banned under the Nannycrats vision for a tobacco-free labor force. As a side note: unconfirmed reports of Michael Bloomberg weeping with joy have been trickling in since the CDC decided to out-nanny the former NYC Mayor.

But, really, why stop at merely banning a legal (albeit unhealthy) activity (on private property owned by private businesses)? The CDC, apparently, felt that Bloomberg style regulation wasn’t quite enough overreach for their self-righteous vision of compulsory national health initiatives… Which is why their plan also incorporates a lovely dimension of state-sponsored shaming. According to the Free Beacon:

[The plan would] ban smoking in outdoor work areas and have bosses ask which of their employees smoke so they can “promptly provide encouragement to quit.”

I can only assume that the original language of the proposed regulation – asking bosses to arrange a public flogging for current tobacco-consuming employees – was struck down as “too severe.” Maybe we should just start publicly beating anyone that dares to take a puff from a Lucky Strike... At least that would be more straightforward than crafting a lengthy regulation that usurps property rights and individual sovereignty.

Michael Schaus

Michael Schaus is communications director at the Nevada Policy Research Institute and is responsible for managing the organization’s messaging with the public, the media and NPRI’s membership.

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