Let me puff in peace

Collin Nelson, Minot

Recently, Senate bill 2137 was introduced for an exemption to the current tobacco laws allowing for cigar lounges that would be attached to tobacco sales establishments. The entire purpose for this exemption is to allow those that enjoy cigars to have a place AWAY from the greater public to gather in peace and enjoy a legal product in fellowship.

In 2012, a referendum was pass by 67% that banned all smoking at indoor public places, WITHOUT exception. That means that roughly 1/3 of North Dakota voters were stripped of their rights. One-third! The anti-smoking coalition is working hard to make sure that anyone that does not adhere to their beliefs should be stripped of their rights and freedoms. I thought this was America, home of the free. It doesn’t get much more un-American than that. Whose business is it to dictate what healthy or unhealthy things I choose to enjoy within my legal right? We are adults here and capable of making our own choices. Here is a simple example: I don’t drink alcohol, not because I am against it but because it is a choice I have made for myself. I don’t demand that bars be closed and I don’t prohibit those around me from enjoying alcohol in my presence, because I’m not a jerk. Some of us call this “adulting.” And where does it end? Fast/junk food? Alcohol? Bacon? Guns? Fast cars?

For many of us, enjoying a cigar with some friends brings us a bit of happiness, and some think it is their duty to take away our happiness for our own good. But let me lay it out like this: my friends and I could be gathered in your neighbor’s backyard, or at the lake next to you, or at the city park, anywhere really. Would you rather have your BBQ smoked out by pesky neighbors, or allow us to have our safe haven to enjoy our sticks in peace? Enough of the nanny state. It is a legal product and within my right. And it brings me happiness. Now stop telling me how to live my life.