When it comes to the providence of cat herding, with the current Kane County Board clearly at the bottom of the scale, the Elgin City Council generally avoids succumbing to pointless platitude politics. They’re not perfect, but the state of the City of Elgin tends to reflect the often-positive efforts of that governing body.
So, I’m more than disappointed in the Elgin City Council’s sudden nomadic approach to increasing the minimum smoking age from 18 to 21.
My first concern is this irrelevant initiative was partially prompted by a nine-year-old resident’s missive to Mayor Dave Kaptain in which she asked him to help people stop smoking. Not only does this reek of the worst kind of nanny state-ism, but when did we start turning to pre-adolescents for city policy? (Though, to tell you the truth, I’d rather listen to a nine-year-old than have to endure Councilman Terry Gavin.)
Aren’t the adults bad enough?
Then there’s this! Those fine Illinois legislators already bumped the smoking age to 21 effective January 1st. So, why is the Elgin City Council suddenly governing in circles? It’s a done deal, so why bother? Has Elgin already resolved every other issue?
But my biggest complaint with this ban BS is, when has prohibition ever worked in any corner of this vast and diverse country at any time in our history? We’ve certainly done a bang-up job with the war on drugs, haven’t we?
To wit, the aforementioned Councilman Gavin said, “This will add to educational efforts already out there about not smoking and could provide another barrier to addiction.”
NO IT WON’T!
All prohibition does is make a product more appealing to the group that’s prohibited from partaking. Doomed to repeat history one more time, Gavin completely ignores our thriving heroin and crystal meth epidemics.
Their illegality has absolutely no effect on consumption.
Tobacco 21, another do-gooder group determined to make any problem worse, claimed “there is data that shows” Evanston’s and Chicago’s teen smoking bans have resulted in a 35 percent decrease in teen smoking rates. To which I reply, “baloney!” (I woulda used the word “bullshit” but some of y’all would’ve objected.)
First, whenever you hear the phrase “there is data that shows” the information involved will invariably fall under the Twain-esque “lies, damn lies, and statistics” postulate. There is data showing that I have a full head of hair, but not even I’m buying it.
In addition, teen smoking rates have plummeted from 23 percent in 2005 to a scant 7.6 percent in 2017 (CDC). So, not only are the fine folks at Tobacco 21 seeking credit for an across-the-board downturn, but this is just another insipid case of a liberal solution desperately in search of a problem.
Mark my words, the second you issue a teen smoking ban, that suddenly enticing forbidden fruit will send adolescent smoking rates soaring. You know you can get cigarettes online, right? And even though it’s illegal to have out-of-state wine imported to an Illinois address, I’ve never had a problem with it.
The Chicago Tribune did a magnificent Sunday piece on how and why Cystal Meth use is skyrocketing. And the reason for that spike is, we got so good at keeping Sudafed out of chemists’ hands, production shifted to Mexico where their far more potent version is seven times cheaper than the U.S. variety.
As a result, a once working-class only drug has made inroads across all U. S. demographics. Leave it to white people to make a problem exponentially worse.
The lesson here is, prohibition never works. The only way you can ever put a dent in the supply is by reducing demand. And that’s exactly what we’ve done with teen smoking which is down a whopping 66.6 percent since 2005.
Clearly, those educational efforts are working. So, why is Elgin screwing around with a sound solution? Sometimes my liberal compatriots really do suck.
Elgin! Please put the teen cigarette ban down and walk away. This is a complete waste of the City Council’s time. Now, if you want to consider a total teenager ban, that’s something I could get behind. It would solve the smoking non-problem, too!