Vice Squad
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Ringing In Another Set of Smoking Bans

Chicago and Paris join the public smoking ban club today; in Paris, the city authorities are distributing "pocket ashtrays" so smokers won't throw their butts on the ground. (Another new law further reduces the Paris-Chicago cultural divide: dogs are now welcome to the outdoor sections of Chicago restaurants.) The Illinois smoking ban does not exempt casinos, so some fiscal authorities are already budgeting for reduced tax revenues from existing casinos -- though the plans to expand gaming in Illinois continue to develop. Fort Worth's new smoking ban does not extend to bars -- and in a last-minute alteration, bingo parlors (a Vice Squad obsession) are exempt, too. Speaking of bingo, in New York, as of January 1, you can organize a fun bingo game in a senior center without fear of imprisonment -- just don't let the players smoke.

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