by guest blogger David F. Cline
Several of my college friends – including the GolfBlogger – get together for a weekend every autumn to play golf, go to a football game, then gather at a local bar for drinks and cigars. I think all involved will tell you it is a highlight of their year – but one aspect will apparently have to change.
The county where we meet recently enacted a law banning smoking for all restaurants and bars, unless a business is specifically designated as a cigar bar. Sadly, our gathering spot of choice does not have that designation. So – the golf will continue, the football game will continue, and the fellowship at a local watering hole will probably continue. As for the cigars? That, alas, may have to cease.
As most of you know, banning smoking is not something new. In fact, the GolfBlogger himself told me that a recent course near where he lives also has banned smoking. When a golf course – a big, wide, swatch of grass, sand, water, and trees – can ban smoking, anything is truly possible.
You may be thinking how this applies to you, and why it should matter if you are not a cigar smoker. I do not mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but there is no guarantee that politicians will stop at cigars or cigarettes. For example, may people under the legal drinking age play golf, right? Well, shouldn’t liquor be banned at golf courses so as not to corrupt the youth? And after that, how about taking away energy drinks or caffeinated soda? After all, we don’t want a bunch of amped-up youngsters romping all over the immaculately-groomed golf course, right?
I know, I know – that might be a bit much. One never knows, though. As we speak, the Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to regulate cigars in the United States. This would be disastrous, on many levels. You can help stop it, though. A petition has been posted at the White House web site that asks the FDA to back off. If 25,000 signatures are collected by May 11, the Obama administration will issue a formal response. In less than three weeks, more than 21,000 people have signed the petition, but there is no reason to stop now.
Take a stand – if not for cigars, then for freedom of choice. And next time you hit the links, light up your favorite cigar. Unless of course, it has been banned.