News First They Came for the Smokers…
posted by April 22 at 14:57 PMon
…and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a smoker blah blah blah.
Actually, the Stranger did speak up: We urged a “no” vote on Washington state’s smoking ban because of its unenforceable (and largely unenforced) 25ft rule. We did, however, endorse the concept of a smoking ban. It was a perfect Stranger position on a controversial issue: We managed to piss off everybody. Anti-smoking crusaders were furious that we urged a “no” vote and smokers were furious that we endorsed the concept. Yahtzee!
Well, anyway, just as some outraged nicotine addicts predicted in our comments threads… now they’re coming for the drinkers.
The campaigns to combat the effects of “passive smoking” are widely credited for Europe’s growing number of smoking bans. Now alcohol is in the sights of the public health lobbyists, and they have invented the concept of “passive drinking” as their killer argument.
I have seen a leaked draft report for the European Commission, which is due to be published some time in June. It makes claims about the high environmental or social toll of alcohol, the “harm done by someone else’s drinking.” The report is likely to inform proposals for a European Union alcohol strategy later this year.