Chicago Bans Smokeless Tobacco At Sporting Events In Latest Curtailment of Consumer Choices

b12cf6cf345d7eda55583551f549b7a2I have long been a critic of legislation that forces citizens to make healthy choices in their eating or drinking or lifestyle, including the “Big Gulp” laws like those in New York City. Once politicians start to dictate health choices, we have seen the desire to become insatiable as more and more “bad choices” are banned. One such example occurred in my home city, Chicago, when the city council banned smokeless tobacco (as well as raised Chicago’s smoking age from 18 to 21). While the age change will create the anomaly of having 18 year olds subject to the draft in war but not able to choose to smoke, it is the smokeless tobacco that is the most problematic element. There is no second-hand chew health problem for other people as there is for smoking. This is merely an effort to force people to make the choices that the government deems health or correct.

The city council also outlawed discounts and slapped a $6 million tax on tobacco products.

The ban on chew at professional and amateur sporting events, including baseball stadiums, resulted in a blast from Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon who correctly noted that (while he quit chewing 15 years ago) “I’m into personal freedoms. I don’t understand the point with all that. Just eradicate tobacco period if you’re going to go that route. I’m not into over-legislating the human race, so for me I’ll just have to listen and learn.” Amen, St. Joe, Amen.

Chicago is the fourth city to enact a ban on smokeless tobacco –joining Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The entire state of California will have a ban on smokeless tobacco go into effect in 2017. The question is why. This is a lawful product like smoking tobacco. People have a right to make choices about their lifestyle so long as they do not harm others. That is why I always supported the bans on smoking in public areas due to the second-hand smoke research. That is an externalized harm. What is the externalized harm of smokeless tobacco?

The Chicago ban will cost between $100 to $250 for each violation and teams will face a $2,500 fine for the third violation of the law within a yearand a 60-day suspension of their license to operate.

I happen to deeply dislike smoking and I find chewing tobacco disgusting. I also do not question the link to serious health problems like cancer. However, that should be the subject of an educational campaign by the government and MLB. Yet, in the end, people need to be able to make choices in our society rather than go down the path to paternalistic legislation regulating our good and bad choices.

60 thoughts on “Chicago Bans Smokeless Tobacco At Sporting Events In Latest Curtailment of Consumer Choices”

  1. Me am Big Chief of Outragee Indian Tribe and me see’m this Red Man picture on white eyes’ magic box! Am heap plenty offended! Takem down or whole Outragee Tribe go on warpath! Much bows and arrows! Much tomahawks! Much blood curdling war cries!

    Or, in the alternative, white man who run’m this place can makem wampum donation of $10.00 to Chief’s patreon account. Either way fine! Warpath or wampum! Prefer wampum. Can go as low as $6.99 so can buy firewater! Hurry! Trading post close early on Saturday!

  2. H. Skip robinson
    That’s pretty hilarious.

    We have in fact, a direct route to petition the government. It’s on the White House website. Get enough interest and they promise an answer. A promise they have upheld since the process began.

    Your analogy about the public school system is so poorly constructed and held together with baling twine I’m not going to venture a critique. You compare things that are in no way linked. You assume cause and effect where there isn’t even a correlation. Did you read this somewhere or make it up yourself?

    Please reboot and try again.

    1. Philly T
      1. The method for petition, to which you refer, requires how many other signatories before it’s considered? That means that ones submission is only worth a small fraction of “a petition.” This may well lend to emotionally charged submissions garnering more votes than a well-thought out document. Yes, this is a vetting process that culls out on-the-spot trash, but it also belies the concept of a true petitioning where equal attention may be paid to the issues, at least in the first round. The WH petition process is mostly a subtle red herring; it diverts.
      2. An evaluation of an analogy is not of value when one uses the head feint of referring to an analogy then declaring it “not worthy of critique.” This move subtly averts having to name (specify) the offending construction.

      In re. your (non)critique, a reboot isn’t necessary. An upgrade in an OS is.

  3. When we allow one right to be usurped it most often opens up the door for other rights to be usurped. By not forcing legislators to provide the scientific proof that the laws do more good and harm, it allows them to enact laws based on subjectivity. All legislation causes harmful situations to occur it is just a matter of if the harm is less or greater than the benefits.

    Let’s look at public education as an example. We know the benefits so lets examine some of the negative ramifications. 1. It promotes poor parents to have children they really can’t afford. 2. It forces responsible parents to pay for educating children of irresponsible parents. 3. It forces the elderly on fixed incomes to not be able to afford their homes as property tax rates rise even though they children are already grown. 4. It has created public employee unions that monetarily manipulate the political process to elect those politicians that will provide the greatest amount of money for public education. It causes higher taxes over the prolonged period that it is in existence. It has caused redundant government agencies at the local, state and federal levels leading one of many reasons for deficit spending at the Federal level. There are numerous other issues including the control over testing and curricula, by government created panels and agencies which has caused our education system and knowledge base to become more socialistically oriented all though it has been long proven that socialism and communism fail over time and the more social policies enacted the more communistic the societies becomes. We now have over 115 different taxes and regulatory fees and our federal government has grown from an annual budget of $314 billion in 1950 to a $3.4 trillion annual budget today and you no longer have the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

    Most socialists/progressives just ignore the negative ramification as did the initial legislators who came up with the bright idea in the first place.

      1. stevegroen – I have been in public schools that have smoking areas for the students.

        1. Paul, yours is a flawed attempt at rebutting my point which was that under Skip’s scenario any regulation of health and safety is unreasonable. The fact supporting your argument is that some health regulation, i.e., a “smoking area,” is reasonable which makes rather than refutes my point.

          1. stevegroen – you are trying to make a point for me that I was not trying to make. I was just pointing out an observation. You took that observation where no man has gone before.

  4. “Whadamean I hafta drive on the right hand side of the road? This is a free country!”

    Grow up. I don’t want that smoke in my face.

  5. The efforts to ban “icky” behaviors are of a piece with the bans or taxes on sugared beverages. What seems to be happening is that some people want to push bans on behaviors of “out of favor” groups. Those “big soda” people are Walmart denizens, so they clearly need to be told what to do. But keep hands off urban bicycling. As risky as that is, it’s one of the things “enlightened” people do.

    Bans (at least here in California) seem to be all about the condescension.

  6. I see we have a couple nanny women here. It’s tough to find libertarian, common sense women. I think their nanny attitudes are dangerous to democracy and the 19th Amendment should be rescinded.

  7. Oh Jim22, you’re such a dreamer. You must be. A dreamer, that is. Because you obviously have no connection with the real world.
    Accidents DO raise insurance rates, but you see, when accident rates go up, they investigate to find out why. Then they lobby legislatures, and often the public, to do something about it. Ever hear of texting-while-driving laws? How do you think they came about? Magical Unicorn babies?

    I like insurance. Shared risk and we’re in it together and all. And I like investigations into the causes of injury, illness and death. What I think is foolish is doing nothing about it when you clearly can.

    I saw a lovely definition of Libertarian the other day: A state of mind of mostly young white men, who because they temporarily don’t need any help from anyone, think that no one else should either.

    Is that you? And if not, what is your actual problem?

  8. So how many on this thread actually chew?
    How many are close friends with chewers?
    How many have sat with a soon to be widow and kids as the 45 yr old right to chew man dies of esophageal cancer? I buried all three.

    My answer?
    Not I
    Not any still alive
    3 widows and 7 kids –a productive life cut short and kids in emotional turmoil.

    Now besides the anguish of the families, most of the costs (immediate and future) were passed on to the public one way or another. Yes, the same can be said for every death, and somewhere it says we all die.

    We won’t allow people to kill themselves with the help of a doctor but will take a hands off re nearly certain slow death or at least disfigurement and provide disability and welfare payments.

    So now let’s hear it for the positive effects of pruning the genetic line, the school of hard knocks toughening up of the kids, and all the “Lincoln” stories and how it all can feed “what doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger.”

  9. This will be my final attempt to voice the FACT that tobacco use, in every form, infringes on hapless innocents–all men, all women, all children, all pets, all demographics, all political persuasions and all races pay. For heaven’s sake, people, this is not 1960 anymore. What do you not understand about the fact that smoking is deliberately addictive and affects everyone who happens by the by-products. No one can possibly plead ignorance to this. We are not talking about a small personal vice here. I can walk past thousands of people drinking a beer and I will not inhale or ingest one carcinogenic chemical. We are talking about a product and an industry that is in the business of pushing and selling a product that deliberately addicts, and eventually kills, its customers. There is nothing quite like the tobacco industry. The costs, in terms of health, medical care, hospitalization, and human loss, is off the charts. Oh. And thanks y’all, for paying for the expensive 12 year battle my mother had with emphysema. Did I mention how expensive her medical costs were?

    Btw, did someone actually mention pet stores as a comparative in a this discussion?

  10. @jim22

    You answered your own question when you wrote: “How do you dream this crap up?”

    Because that is exactly what they do. They DREAM this stuff up. They don’t THINK it up,they DREAM it up. Their ideas are some sort of weird manifestation of their id and superego fighting it out inside their own minds Sooo, for example, “open borders” are good because it soothes their superego and ids, not because it makes any sense.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  11. PhillyT and Beth live amazing lives that cost society nothing. They live perfectly risk free. I assume neither one of you drive. Accidents cause injuries which raises health insurance. I love your logic too. We will force you into a health care system that you didn’t want and now that you are in it, we get to use it against you to take away more of your freedoms. How do you dream this crap up?

  12. Why are baseball stadiums singled out for legislation? How about pet stores?

    I’d like to see a city council vote to suspend the operating permit for a baseball team over this issue. The backlash against them would certainly be more than they might expect. I say call the city out on their brinkmanship. Move the team temporarily to another nearby stadium and see how long that lasts with the voters. And the city can kiss all that dear tax revenue goodbye.

    Next on the list… probably viewed as a gateway drug to chewing tobacco.

  13. Al O’Heem
    You might be interested to know that the origin of the bans on public spitting came about during the Spanish Flu epidemic. When they finally began to realize what caused the flu and how it was being transmitted they made every effort to improve public hygiene and stop the epidemic.

    As for the ban, I say if we’re all going to help pay for the consequences of people’s bad habits, then we all get to have a say in how that gets paid for or whether or not it’s allowed. We tried banning booze, but it’s a seriously addictive drug, and people would not go without. So we came up with the “sin tax” to discourage consumption and (ideally) put money aside to help treat or mitigate liver damage etc.

    Of course another solution would just be to let them all die. No money? Too bad for you! That seems to be the ongoing Republican alternative to the ACA.

  14. If anyone wonders how Big (Leftist) Government comes up with these authoritarian rules that infringe on personal freedom, it’s a simple process, really. Big Government has a database of the demographics of all users of consumer products. Big Government’s target of attack is ALWAYS the average White American. Big (Leftist) Government HATES White men. This is the key principle to remember. If Apple Juice were consumed largely by White Americans, they would be banning that product. However, as the database below plainly shows, White men are the dominant group consuming smokeless tobacco products. Thus, the decision in this case is clear and direct. See, it’s simple when you understand the process! Okay, everyone?

    Demographic profiles of smokeless tobacco users in the U.S.
    Timberlake DS1, Huh J.
    Author information
    Users of smokeless tobacco (chew or snuff) in the U.S. are viewed demographically as being homogeneous. Prior studies have demonstrated such homogeneity in national survey data but have not utilized latent-variable methods. The objective of this study was to determine whether a single group or underlying subgroups best characterize users of smokeless tobacco.
    Men aged >17 years who had used smokeless tobacco in the past month (n=4583) were selected from the 2003, 2004, and 2005 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. A latent-class analysis, conducted in 2008, was based on individual response patterns from six demographic variables and three items pertaining to the use of smokeless tobacco.
    Four latent classes were identified: older chew users (17.2%); younger poly-tobacco users (28.7%); skilled laborers with a high school diploma (27.5%); and educated professionals (26.6%). External validation of these classes indicated that older chew users and younger poly-tobacco users were more likely than the educated professionals to be former and current smokers, respectively.
    While users of smokeless tobacco in the U.S. are predominantly white men, they are more heterogeneous with respect to education, occupation, and residency than commonly is perceived.

  15. Jim22. We are all allowed to swing our arms in a circle–until we hit someone else on the nose. Then it becomes something else. This is not a political issue. It is one of health, sanitation and the cost of a personal habit that just happens to be potentially lethal to innocent bystanders. See: the surgeon general’s report.

  16. PaulCS

    No, because everybody just knows how men are! We even have nursery rhymes that prove it!

    What are little boys made of?
    What are little boys made of?

    Dirt and grime,
    And porn all the time!

    That’s what little boys are made of

    What are little girls made of?
    What are little girls made of?

    Niceness and smiles,
    A complete lack of guiles!

    That’s what little girls are made of


    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  17. Chewing tobacco is a nasty habit. Down here, the guys carry a 16oz coke bottle and kind of spit-drool the crap into the bottle, and then put the lid on it. Eww! I am with bams on this one. The ban only applies to stadiums, so the infringement on personal “liberty” is slight. Plus, JT said:

    “People have a right to make choices about their lifestyle so long as they do not harm others.”

    That kind of fuzzy idealism runs smack dab into the brick wall of REALITY. Because who polices the “harm” to others, and how and when it occurs? For example, some guy who sits around watching porn all night. Who checks that to see if that “harms others”? Is his wife feeling neglected because hubby is too busy playing with himself to pay attention to her. Or to go out with the family on Saturday, because if they are all gone, then he can launch himself into his favorite habit! Is he causing a divorce to occur, and all the problems that go along with broken homes?

    You see, there isn’t anybody who determines if he harms other people besides his wife. And she doesn’t get a bit f help from “society”, because “society” is too busy promulgating trite and banal thoughts to justify their own “lifestyle” choices.

    Same with prostitution, gambling, adultery, promiscuity, drug use, etc. etc.etc. I think ever since our society ditched traditional ideas about moral standards, in favor of this fuzzy feel-good crap, our country has gone to seed.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – in the interest of fairness, it could be the wife who is watching porn all night and the husband is feeling neglected.

  18. This all reminds me of a joke I used to tell:

    Ol’ Scrappy walks into a bar and asks the bartender, “Hey, give me a drink”
    Bartender: Listen, I know you have no money and can’t pay for the drink.
    Ol’ Scrappy: Come on, just one, will ya?
    Bartender: No, I won’t
    Ol’ Scrappy starts to leave and the bartender says, “Wait, I will give you a drink if you drink what’s in the spittoon.” Knowing he wouldn’t do it.
    Ol’ Scrappy turns and picks up the spittoon and starts chugging away.
    Bartender: Stop! Ol’ Scrappy please stop! You can have the drink.
    Ol’ Scrappy keeps slurping away until it was all gone.
    Bartender: What’s the deal, I told you, you could have the drink for free.
    Ol’ Scrappy: I tried to stop but I couldn’t because it was all in one long strand.

  19. Chicago Bans Smokeless Tobacco At Sporting Events In Latest Curtailment of Consumer Choices

    Freedom is just another word for telling the moral busy-bodies infesting government at all levels to piss-off.

    All of the moral busy-bodies and all of their intrusive liberty denying “laws” will never be able to child-safety-proof the world.

    The moral busy-bodies will however make (y)our lives a living hell on Earth as they attempt to do so. After all it is for (y)our own good.

    It is simply amazing the moral busy-bodies in Chicago have the time to enact liberty denying “laws” while at the same time fail to warn their constituents of elevated levels of lead in their drinking water.

    The paragraph below was excerpted from Chicago Tribune:

    City fails to warn Chicagoans about lead risks in tap water
    By Michael Hawthorne
    February 8, 2016, 7:10AM

    More than two years after federal researchers found high levels of lead in homes where water mains had been replaced or new meters installed, city officials still do little to caution Chicagoans about potential health risks posed by work that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is speeding up across the city.

    In a peer-reviewed study, researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found alarming levels of the brain-damaging metal can flow out of household faucets for years after construction work disrupts service lines that connect buildings to the city’s water system. Nearly 80 percent of the properties in Chicago are hooked up to service lines made of lead .

    Priorities, priorities, priorities.

  20. Beth, My point is, is that I’m sure if you were to let us examine your life and it’s activities we could find areas that we either dislike or cause costs to others. Are you a runner or play any sports? Well I want you to stop since it will more than surely lead to some kind of surgery at some point.I want a list of everything you eat beacuase something in there is either bad for the environment or causes cancer. It kills me how libs want “choice” when it comes to killing a baby but not chewing tobacco, picking a light bulb or a toilet.

Comments are closed.