Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Legislative Puffery - "NO" SMOKING wink wink



I was at the hockey game this past weekend, where you?  If you were, did you work your way through the smoke outside the entrance?

I remember when I sat on Council, we passed a progressive piece of legislation that outlawed smoking on all town owned property – including the stadium and stadium grounds.  At around the same time, several other  government departments and agencies, as well as some privately owned shopping malls, also adopted policies outlawing smoking on their properties.  It seemed like the thing to do.

Since that time I have seen this rule made a mockery of time and time again – not just at the stadium but virtually everywhere that adopted the policy.

Like many of the rules that are made, I wonder if they are made more to “look’ like some organization is being progressive rather than actually being progressive.   Old habits die hard, both for the organizations that make the rules and for those who choose to ignore the rules.

Now I'm not out to make criminals out of smokers, but if we make the no-smoking rule we have to be prepared to educate on it and enforce it.  The upshot of it all is that we either have to stop wasting our time with such “legislative puffery” that we have neither intention nor capacity to enforce, or we back up our intentions with continuous education and enforcement.   

In the meantime, we’ll be continuing to pass smokers having a relaxing puff just outside of stadium, and the playgrounds, and at work, and the mall.

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