Tuesday, March 4, 2008


At the end, there was smoke. But there was no fire.

A plan to ban the fumes of acetone, ammonia, benzene, cadmium, carbon monoxide, formaldehide, hydrogen cyanide, lead, tar and nicotine (otherwise known as smoking) at parks and municipal property in the city of Kingston (otherwise known as Kingston) stalled on Monday.

There should be no need to tell grownups about the very well documented dangers of smoking. But the people who make cigarettes keep changing their formulas, so further studies are always needed. Case in point, a study reanalysis by the unreliable people at Harvard University found that nicotine concentrations went up 11 percent in a 7-year period.

Tobacco companies are the only ones that add stuff to their products and don't tell their customers. How nice.

Yet, there also should be no need to pass unenforceable laws, which is one of the arguments made on Monday at the city meeting. The symbolic law argument is as sad as the fact that I was smoking when I was reading the article (I laughed, I coughed, I laughed some more).

The Tobacco Free Action Coalition of Ulster County has plenty of non-symbolic steps to inform youngster and address the problem.

Those of us who choose to live a shorter life of yellow teeth and ashtray breath are undoubtedly making a bad decision.

But that (cough) shouldn't translate into bad laws.

Note: The preceding view has not been endorsed or disavowed by the Freeman, which has a non-smoking building, a non-smoking editorial board and bad looks and good lectures toward a certain Life Editor every time he's caught smoking outside.