Letter: New laws make smokers second-class citizens


Imagine yourself outside in the cold January air playing your favorite video game. The bench is freezing, so you spend most of the game standing up. Your fingers are freezing off because gloves just make it harder to play the game, and the same goes for your face; you can’t play if you can’t see or breathe, right? Afterward, you have to get into a warm shower to recover from the frostbite that now afflicts every place on your body that wasn’t covered in protective gear.

This is exactly how it is for smokers this time of year. I should know; I smoke a tobacco pipe. Citing Ted McDonough’s article in City Guide ’07, the Salt Lake City Council recently made smoking illegal in much of the outdoors-banning smoking in parks, public squares, trails, ballparks, golf courses, the city cemetery and many outdoor concerts.

But city officials say the law won’t be rigorously enforced, so never mind. Personally, I think this shows that the City Council is asking for trouble. Let’s make it illegal to smoke in many public places, and then say the law won’t be “rigorously enforced.” I’ll just go down to the park and have a smoke, and when the police officer wants to fine me for breaking the law, I’ll just show him the aforementioned article that says, “won’t be rigorously enforced.” This, in the end, will probably just net me a bigger fine.

Instead of just sending smokers to the back alleys (assuming those back alleys don’t have windows within 25 feet of them) with laws that may or may not be enforced, perhaps they should borrow the concept known as permits.

That is, unless the City Council is really just trying to cement the fact that smokers are the new second-class citizens. I can handle that; I’ll just move to a place where my rights aren’t infringed upon.

Zacrey Monte HansenFreshman, English