As many of us have known for years, the Nanny State is alive and well — and growing; especially at the federal level. It is also well-known that tobacco and the demonization thereof at the hands of Uncle Sam (especially the FDA, which now enjoys statutory power over tobacco products) is a flash point for government regulators. Clearly, federal, state and local tobacco police will not rest until every cigarette, cigar and pipe has been doused permanently, and every pinch of chewing tobacco destroyed.
Now, at least one cruise ship line — Carnival — is considering marching side by side with the government nanny-staters. The cruise line is actually going one step better than the government killjoys. Carnival has announced it is “testing” the idea of banning smoking in cigar bars on its cruise ships. That’s right, if the cruise-line busy bodies have their way, passengers hoping to enjoy a stogie in the cigar bar, will no longer be able to do so. One proffered defense for the nonsensical proposal is that non-smokers have to endure the torture of passing by the cigar bar en route to an eating or drinking lounge, and in so doing might suffer irreparable harm from detecting a whisp of cigar smoke.
Perhaps next, the sea-borne nannies will prohibit alcohol in the on-board bars, or ban eating desserts at the 24-hour dessert bar; because after all, government regulators already are casting a longing regulatory eye at alcohol consumption and obesity as national crises. The question is, why should people be permitted to enjoy themselves beyond the 12-mile limit, when doing so is becoming increasingly difficult on dry land?