Nanny State Update: Smoke Free Smoking Lounges, Ducking the Truth, Bag Bans and Soda Taxes
The Nanny State strikes again banning and taxing your freedoms away one policy at a time. In this week’s update, we shed light on the true effects of plastic bag bans, the regressively of soda taxes, the hypocrisy of tobacco bans and more.
Smoke Free Smoking Lounges: As part of the state’s Indoor Clean Air Act, Utah has banned hookah and e-cigarettes on the grounds that smoking and second-hand smoke cause serious health problems. Under the guise of public health, Utah has extended its indoor tobacco ban to include e-cigarettes even though studies show e-cigs contain fewer additives and seem to present fewer risks than traditional cigarettes. The burgeoning war on e-cigarettes, or other smoking cessation products, shows that the state is interested only in manipulation, not risk reduction.
Shoving Bans Down Your Throat: California has passed legislation banning foie gras—fattened duck liver served as an appetizer—because the preparation might cause animal suffering. In response, a coalition of chefs have proposed steps to ensure humane treatment of ducks—exactly what the legislation wants; however, the Nanny State in California will go ahead with the ban effective July 1st. Referring to the chefs and restaurants opposing the ban, former California Democratic Party chairman John Burton claimed he’d like to, “Have duck and goose fat—better yet, dry oatmeal—shoved down their throats over and over again.” The Nanny State knows no measure of restraint.
Banning Bags: Hawaii is known for sun, sand, vacations and a critically panned yet entertaining Saved by the Bell TV-movie. Unfortunately you can’t take a vacation from the Nanny State. Hawaii has recently banned plastic bags becoming the first state to do so. Many cities have imposed bans or bag fees; however, this is the first time plastic bags have been banned in an entire state. San Francisco found bags accounted for the same percentage of waste before and after their plastic bag ban. In Ireland, a similar ban saw a 10 percent increase in plastic bag usage. Plastic bag bans hurt jobs and likely don’t eliminate bag waste at landfills. They are ineffective Nanny State boondoggles that have no semblance of common sense.
California Would Rather Not Buy the World a Coke: Nanny State legislators in Richmond, California voted 5-2 to push a soda tax referendum on the city’s Nov. 6 ballot. If the measure passes, the city would impose a “penny-per-ounce” tax on sugary beverages including sodas and drinks like Snapple. The Nanny Staters hope the tax will lower obesity rates in Richmond, ignoring that excise taxes are very regressive and might drive sales to neighboring cities. In Richmond, about 20 percent of residents live under the poverty line while neighboring Albany and Berkeley don’t appear to have soda taxes. According to one of the two councilmen who voted against the ban, “This is a tax on poor people. That's all it is…people are going to drink soda anyway. But people who can't afford cars are going to end up paying more.”
California Would Rather You Not Buy a Cigarette: Nanny State administrators and professors on the campus of California (where else) State, Fullerton have extended the campus-wide smoking ban to include parking lots and personal vehicles. No reason was given other than that students and faculty supported the ban—how many students or what percentage thereof we can’t say.
All was not lost this week in the fight against Nanny Statism:
The Cincinnati city council voted 8-1 to overturn the city’s ban on breeding Pit Bulls. Like all Nanny State rules the original ban went into effect, “under the guise of public safety and was kept despite an amendment to state laws.” Thankfully the city realized the error of its ways and repealed the ban on Wednesday.
TAGS: Nanny State