Wednesday, June 20, 2007

NH: "Live free or die"?

That used to be their motto, but considering that their identity has been slouching more towards the socialist side of their neighbors in Vermont, I don't see how they can keep that motto with a straight face. From Boston's fishwrap:
Governor John Lynch signed a law yesterday banning smoking in New Hampshire's bars and restaurants.
"The science is clear (no, it's not. Ed.) -- secondhand smoke poses a dangerous health risk, and that is why this new law is so important," Lynch said.

More than a dozen states and hundreds of cities and counties around the country ban smoking in restaurants, bars, or both. New Hampshire was the only state in New England that did neither.

The law will take effect in 90 days.

Supporters said the ban was needed to protect workers and customers from the health risks of secondhand smoke.

"Smoking is banned in almost every other workplace in New Hampshire," Lynch said. "We should not continue to subject our hard-working citizens in the restaurant industry to the harmful dangers of secondhand smoke."

Opponents argued for education instead. They said restaurant and bar owners should decide when or whether to ban smoking, not the state.

We've covered the "smoking in private business" debate before, so I'll try not to rehash it too much here. My only point is that there is nothing in banning a legal product in a private business that gives the impression of freedom, so I wish NH would find a new motto.

Labels: ,