Thursday, October 06, 2005

Still an Ember in City Council's "Tobacco Wars"

   Ald. Ed Smith, chairman of the Chicago City Council's Health Committee and influential local Democrat, had postponed for three weeks a vote on a proposed ordinance that would ban smoking in public places. Eric Zorn has a column
on the subject in today's Trib. He cites numerous "academic studies" that evidence no negative influence on restarauent revenues from such bans. I don't doubt their credibility, but that's of ancillary importance here. Illicit drugs are also a source of revenue and the drug trade provides employment and economic development(i.e. crack houses). There has to come a point at which human health and welfare supersedes "personal choices(heck, the same argument could be made for drunk driving, and, again, innocent people are needlessy imperiled as a result)" and, more importantly, profit.
   As this Trib editorial remarks, the mayor is still apprehensive about the man. With a political future as uncertain as his, one can bet that mayoral ally Ed Smith won't want to move the question any time soon-except into that eternal purgatory where all good bills do when they die. (The bad ones go elsewhere.)
   An article on the subject in the Tribune.
   A post from Illinipundit.


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