December 30, 2006

Gateway To The East Closed To Smokers

I'm not surprised that a communist state would enact restrictions on choice, but I was hoping Hong Kong would remain a bit more resistant to such intrusions.

"The year 2006 will end in a puff of smoke across Hong Kong when a ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and offices comes into effect -- and the new law has left many fuming.
Tobacco police will be out in force on New Year's Eve, ready to stub out offenders after the clock strikes midnight, as Hong Kong becomes the latest major city to embrace the anti-smoking movement."
(emphasis mine)

The sad part is that there are folks over here who would emulate Hong Kong in this way.

Tobacco police? No wonder they don't want the peasants armed over there - I'd imagine such a blatant act over here would make it a very dangerous job. Then again we tolerate (& in some cases condone) the ATFU so I could be over-estimating the American resistance to such intrusive measures.

"I've been smoking since I was 14 and I'm still alive. How can they say smoking will kill me?' said Lam Kin-shing, a 70-year-old retired construction worker who pledged to ignore the law.
'I think the ban violates my human rights,' he said on Friday."

Actually there's a whole list of things China does that would be higher up on the scale of human rights violations, but the fellow does have a point.

"And some revellers are furious that police have vowed to start enforcing the ban at one minute after midnight, when the New Year's revels are in full swing across a city known for its hard-charging nightlife.
'What do they expect? That I will shout out at midnight that everyone must stop smoking?' one bar owner told the South China Morning Post. 'No way."

At least there's some spirit of resistance in Hong Kong. Hopefully it will grow & spread to the mainland, but without sufficient numbers & resources it won't come of much I fear. Still, it's heartening to see that some have lines that they won't let be crossed. I type this in a state where the blues bars are smoke free. Maybe in this one instance Coloradans could learn a very important lesson from the people of Hong Kong: defiance.

Posted by Publicola at December 30, 2006 05:04 PM | TrackBack
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