Thursday, July 24, 2008

Smoke 'em if you've got 'em

We understand that smoking is bad for you. We know that you can't possibly vouch for any real health benefits, unless you're either an unfrozen caveman, or a lawyer for Big Tobacco. And we can see the reason for smoking to be banned from restaurants, bars, and workplaces. But there's a point where it gets a little out of hand.

That point has recently been crossed across the Atlantic, where a British man received a fine for lighting a cigarette. Why? He did so in his personal van. Oh, and he's self-employed as a painter, so his van is how he gets from job to job. The police ticketed him for smoking in his place of employment.

Here's the thing, though. Not only is the van his personal vehicle (as he points out, he paints houses, not vans), but he wasn't even close to going to or from a job at that point. He was headed to the store to pick up some tea bags. The fact that the police pulled him over while he was driving and smoking seems like they're taking things a little too far.

There is a minor consolation to the whole story. When the man's wife went to pay the fine, even the local council seemed confused, as they hastily scribbled a receipt on what may as well have been an old used napkin.

It's this kind of overreaction that can drive a person to smoking. Just don't do it in your private vehicle. Or anywhere else.

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