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Mailbag: Smoking restrictions are really a smoke screen

July 29, 2011

Re. "Editorial: Newport should ban smoking in parks, (Editorial, July 17): "We generally cringe when government noses its way into civil liberties."

This is the best editorial I have ever read in the Daily Pilot or its big brother, the Los Angeles Times. The editorial staff should have stopped after the word "liberties." Because it quickly became clear the editorial did not mean a word it said about government restrictions on citizens' rights and privileges.

What the editorial was really saying was more tax and restrictions.

The editorial fell to the lowest level possible by arguing Newport Beach should ban smoking in parks because we must do it for the little kids. If this had any merit, anybody older than 50 would be dead or in the hospital in the critical care ward. And smoke would not rise, but sink, at least in the minds of the editorial writers, authoritarian control fanatics and the City Council.

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The reality is when you demonize a group like people who use tobacco products in such a public way, it is the signal for the public employees to grab the tax money and continue the restrictions of rights and privilege to justify their actions.

The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization of 2009 has raised tax almost 300% on tobacco products. These taxes are aimed right at the lower middle class and the working poor.

To keep the scam going the public employees and their supporters must keep thinking up new ways to demonize the user of tobacco products to continue the justification of the taxes that primarily support those same public employees at all levels. Once again, what is supposed to be for the little kids is really about the public employees, their supporters and the growing army of control fanatics.

It is never acceptable to enhance the rights and privilege of one citizen by restricting the rights and privilege of another citizen. And that includes the little kids because they will grow up to be adults without the same rights and privilege we have today. We have a responsibility more important to little kids than just blowing smoke. That is to see this does not happen. That, future generations have more personal freedoms and liberties, not less!

August Lightfoot

Newport Beach

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