April 07, 2008

Let’s Make Smokers History

As the UN’s global jihad against tobacco enters its third decade, it may be time to invite the ladies to found Mothers Against Power Mad Sociologists.

A study in The Journal of Public Economics  finds smoking bans lead to increased highway deaths as drinkers are forced to drive further to different jurisdiction or to find bars with outdoor seating.

“The increased miles driven by drivers who wish to smoke and drink offsets any reduction in driving from smokers choosing to stay home after a ban, resulting in increased alcohol-related accidents,” the study says.  Author Scott Adams of the University of Wisconsin called the results “surprising…We thought we would see a reduction…Our first thought was, ‘Throw it away, it must be wrong.’

But a Madison anti-smoking activist told Milwaukee’s Capital Times it argues for stricter bans that forbid smoking even outdoors, and for wider bans that prevent smokers escaping to more tolerant jurisdictions. Adams added: “a well-enforced national smoking ban would get rid of the drunken driving increases.”

Meanwhile in New York, Nurse Bloomberg is chortling at her charges—the taxes on a pack of cigarettes have at last surpassed the price of a gallon of gas.

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