After I read a recent story in The Hill about various legislators attacking Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the star of the HBO show "Veep," for brandishing an e-cigarette during the Golden Globe awards, I can remain silent no longer.
My colleague pundit Rick Manning recently addressed this matter here, and while Manning and I agree as often as Pope Francis agrees with trickle-down economics, I fully agree with his denunciation of the latest excess of the nanny-staters.
Let people do what they want. Sure, smoking should be prohibited in most public places where there is real danger of second-hand smoke. Though banning smoking on a huge public beach where there is no danger of second hand smoke is ridiculous.
Regarding e-cigarettes, and e-cigars: They are totally different than cigarettes and cigars. There is no tar, no smoke, and people would live far longer if they quit real cigarettes and began smoking e-cigarettes. The ninnies and nanny-staters should be glad when anyone quits smoking and takes up e-cigs instead.
Every one of these people is a winner. Society is a winner. Even the budget is a winner, because e-cigs lower healthcare spending compared to cigarettes. To those who criticize Louis-Dreyfus, I say, give me a break. Get lost. There is an attitude of some on the anti-smoking side that moves beyond health protection, and even beyond the nanny-state mentality.
There is a kind of crypto-fascism in some of these folks. They want to stop the behavior of others even if it does not affect them. On these matters, I am a libertarian. If you want to smoke an e-cig, go for it. And for those who don't like it, don't smoke them.
Similarly, I support gay marriage. I am straight but if one gay wants to marry another gay, why should I care? And why should I have anything to say about which consenting adults can marry other consenting adults? In the meantime, if you know anybody who smokes, tell them to try an e-cigarette and they will live longer.
I am going out to have a good cigar, the real kind, to think about this.