I just saw that North Carolina has banned smoking in bars and restaurants. (This is big news because a lot of tobacco is raised in NC.) The ban goes into effect tomorrow, Saturday, January 2, 2010. Recently the University of Michigan Health Systems, UMHS -- that's what they call the hospital -- went completely smoke-free, at all their many buildings and all the open space in between them. After this happened I saw a young man staging a protest, sitting outside in the cold on or near UMHS grounds -- I'm not sure exactly where University territory in general stops and hospital territory starts. Also, I'm not sure there wasn't some big University smoking ban instituted along with the ban at the hospital -- and smoking at a folding table next to a sign inviting others to join him. I was tempted to get into it with him. ("Really?! Really?! This is the best thing you can think of to protest about?") I left him alone, though. I used to smoke. I remember vividly what it was like to jones for nicotine.
I understand the argument against smoking bans in public places, but I don't agree with it. I don't think the info about secondhand smoke killing people is all bullshit, and I think asking people to find other jobs somewhere else if they don't like the smoke, is worse than asking smokers to search and search for some place where they can be all alone to do their thing like the social lepers they have become.
Getting back to North Carolina -- is there any sort of concerted effort to help and encourage tobacco farmers to, you know -- grow something else already facryingoutlond for gosh sakes? To cut down on the "They tuck ur jabs!" factor? Maybe there is a huge effort of this kind which has been in place for a very long time. I just haven't heard of it. (I haven't researched the question.) Seems like that would be the sort of thing you'd want to do. To get at the root of the situation and address the most legitimate objections which could be raised to this paradigm shift taking place in the world. I dunno. Ya know?