A ban on candy (cigarettes) is dandy, but prohibition?

The Saint Paul Pioneer Press has a front page story on what ordinarily would be a line or two inside the local/metro section: a proposal by a group of teens to ban the sale of candy cigarettes in St. Paul. Backed by 100  young supporters squeezed into the benches in the City Hall chambers, the kids seemed to win a surprising easy and uncontested victory. Then council member Dan Bolstrom dropped his bomb: “Why not go all the way, and ban all tobacco sales in the city?” 

Bostrum, who voted against the current Saint Paul ordinance on indoor smoking three timesand offered an amendment to weaken the city’s rules on indoor smoking, wasn’t being serious.  He knows that anti-smoking groups (full disclosure, I work for the American Lung Association of Minnesota) are not looking to lawmakers to pass a total prohibition on tobacco, as  one of our allies noted in the article, “We had prohibition (of alcohol) and it didn’t work.”  Bostrom’s intent was to raise doubts on the “real agenda” these anti-tobacco groups have. Is it money? (rising taxes on tobacco was another big story this week) Power? Social Engineering? Huh?

Freud famously said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”  Likewise, sometimes people just don’t want to see more and more people to get sick and die of smoking-related illnesses.  You will never get rich being an anti-smoking advocate, but you might just get a little satisfaction with the thought that you helped some people quit (or not start), and made their lives a little better.

3 Comments so far

  1. kevinfromminneapolis on April 2nd, 2009 @ 9:22 pm

    The day we stopped being able to have fun with candy cigarettes was a sad day that, probably, no one recognized.


  2. David (jacc) on April 3rd, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

    I’ll admit to several attempts,as a youth,of trying to light and smoke a candy cig. Unsuccessfully, I might add.

    I never did pick up the cancer stick habit.


  3. Robert Moffitt (justpbob) on April 3rd, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

    You were a smarter kid than I was, cool cat.

    BTW, the Lung and its spokesperson (that’s me) had nothing to do with this proposal, kevin. Like Will Rogers, all I know is what I read in the newspapers.



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