It’s well known that the word “Philadelphia” means “brotherly love,” but the city hasn’t shown love to cigar smokers. By placing various bans on smoking throughout the city limits, Philadelphia hasn’t treated its cigar-smoking citizens as true brothers. No, the city has reduced them to second class citizens and treated them like step-brothers at best.
In 2007, the Philadelphia City Council passed the Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law, which banned all smoking in bars, restaurants, and workplaces throughout the city. Most recently, in 2014, Mayor Michael Nutter signed a new law that banned smoking in all of the city’s parks. The government-led anti-smoking campaign has reached a feverish pitch that has little connection with reality.
Cigars are one of the most traditional of all tobacco products. From colonial days to the present, they’ve been a part of American life and culture. In fact, cigars find their historical roots as far back as the voyages of Christopher Columbus and Walter Raleigh. Even earlier, the Maya and Carib Indians were already smoking precursors of the modern cigar.
In the days of the American Revolution, cries for liberty rose like a mighty wave across the land. Who, in that day, would have stood for a government dead set on snatching a cigar out of the mouth of a harmless smoker? The rights of personal choice and freedom prevailed back then, and Philadelphia was the central command station of the whole pro-liberty movement. Yet, today, the city has become a hot spot of cigar-grabbing government officials.
In the past, it was thought proper to let each business decide for itself if it would be a smoking or non-smoking establishment. Thus, liberty prevailed on the corporate level as well as the individual level. Most restaurants accommodated their customers by providing a smoking and non-smoking section to sit in. Few ever complained. In parks and outdoor areas, smokers and non-smokers managed to get along just fine. They could sit apart at adequate distances, let the wind take the smoke in the other direction, or find other ways to respect and accommodate each other. Nowadays, however, the city councilmen walk about town with a snuffer, determined to put every cigar they find, out.
It’s incredible that no movement exists to ban alcohol, which’s a far greater problem to society than is cigar smoke. Who ever got in an accident because they were driving while intoxicated with tobacco? It is even stranger to see the great popularity of legalizing marijuana, a far more detrimental drug to one’s mental capabilities than tobacco ever was.
Finally, we notice that the city has no qualms about taxing and profiting from cigar sales. Yet, it insists on riding its high horse all over the town’s cigar smokers in the most hypocritical manner possible.