What, me worry?

Monday, August 18, 2008

The "worry later" mindset that plagued the Iowa Legislature when adopting the statewide ban on tobacco use in public places last session is coming back to bite them on a regular basis.

We're talking about the major issue regarding the enforcement of the law and, folks, it just ain't working on several fronts.

Reportedly, there have been fisticuffs, assaults, verbal and physical threats, vandalism, and hundreds of confused and complaining proprietors and property owners unsure of just what lengths they must go to to enforce the smoking ban in their places.

Getting the police, State Patrol, and sheriff's officers involved isn't, nor should it be, the answer, as their plates are already full enforcing the countless other mandated laws on the books for eons. But the calls to the "cops" are comng in.

Do we actually think law enforcement should be summoned for who's lighting up where when their primary duties are to safeguard the populace and all the law-breaking idiots already residing there?

We've been told of a couple recent incidents in Iowa where "bouncers" have pounced on and physically removed those who've disregarded the new law and lit up a cigarette in a bar or restaurant. Is it not just a matter of time before some form of retaliation (Knife? Gun? Arson?) occurs?

The Iowa Legislature ruled that the Iowa State Board of Health will police the compliance of the Smokefree Air Act regulating no smoking in public places, places of employment, and certain outdoor areas. The strategy is to do it by educating the public and business owners.

Give us a break.

At any rate - and you've read it here first - this whole issue could result in some creative entrepreneurship that might give the Iowa economy and unemployment rates a shot in the arm.

We wonder why someone hasn't thought about converting a motor home, bus, camper, large van, etc. into a Smoking Wagon for hire and routinely cruise the bars, restaurants and shops to pick up smokers who would pay a fee to suck down a few cigs on a short joy ride with the tunes crankin' and then be dropped off at their establishment of choice. It would be sorta like a timely intermission of an intermission, if you get the drift.

Hey, it's a thought - something the Iowa Legislature didn't invoke when considering enforcing compliance of the controversial law.