Vice Squad
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Holy Toledo! Holy Smokes! Holy Toledo Smokes!

Ohio is a battleground state in more ways than one this November. Both Columbus and Toledo have passed New York City-style public smoking bans. The fate of the bans, however, is in the hands of voters, thanks to referenda on the November ballot. (In Toledo's case, the referendum aims not to eliminate the ban, but to soften it.) As part of the coverage of the smoking referenda, the Toledo Blade published today this short article on the history of tobacco bans. The article traces the current wave of public smoking bans in the US to the mid-1970s efforts of a Duluth housewife with an asthmatic child. What Henry Adams said of teachers applies to mothers, too, that they know not how far their influence extends.

Meanwhile, Walter Olson at Overlawyered provides the latest on an attempt by private health insurers to emulate state attorneys general in using lawsuits to recoup medical expenses from tobacco companies.

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