As more and more states adopt laws banning public smoking, crushing the hopes of cigar smokers with the ease of crushing a used cigarette, people everywhere are calling it “disgusting,” avoiding telling legislators to be kiss the ashes. The laws, to the avid cigar smoker, are avidly ridiculous.
But ridiculous laws are part of worldly culture. From a law in Denver that prohibits people from borrowing vacuum cleaners to other residences, to a law in Wyoming that prohibits people from taking pictures of rabbits during the month of June, many rules and regulations just don’t make sense. There’s even a law in Champaign, Illinois that makes it illegal for someone to urinate in their next-door neighbor’s mouth, no doubt ruining the weekend plans of countless Midwestern citizens.
It was only a matter of time before this insanity of the law leaked into the tobacco industry. Recently, they have become more obvious, marking our world with a “No Smoking” sign. Not limited to just one state or country, strange smoking laws can be found almost anywhere.
Australia: Australia has a law that prohibits children from buying cigars or cigarettes. This is not particularly strange since many countries have similar regulations. However, Australia stands out because children, although they cannot buy tobacco, are legally allowed to use it. As long as they can get an adult to buy it for them, Australian children are allowed to smoke a cigar in front of a policeman, a parent, a teacher or even a babysitter.
New Orleans, Louisiana: In a city known for guilty pleasures, home to everything from Mardi Gras to quirky casinos, smoking cigars and cigarettes is a bit tame. New Orleans has a law that prohibits anyone participating in a carnival or parade from using tobacco products while doing so. In addition to this, a “No Smoking” sign must be visibly attached to all floats in the parade, not that the spectators, with treasures from nearby women trying to get accounts, are really paying attention.
Zion, Illinois: Just when you think you’ve heard all about the rules, there is a law in Zion that prohibits owners from giving a lit cigarette to any of their pets. While the law specifically names cats and dogs, it surely applies to any type of pet: hamsters, gerbils, and goldfish. None of these pets are allowed to smoke cigars, no matter how much they beg and beg.
France: Colonel Mustard, in the Boiler Room, with an ashtray. That’s right, an ashtray. In France, ashtrays are considered deadly weapons. Perhaps this is because people can use ashtrays to hit others, or perhaps it is because ashtrays have been known to prey on unsuspecting victims, jumping into alleys and blinding them with a cloud of dust. But the most likely reason is simply because it is France. A nation with a reputation for passivity, some people may think that the citizens of France are murderously threatened by the cast of Brady’s Bunch. We hear that Marcia is packing her bags.
New Jersey: While a “Don’t Feed the Animals” sign is common in many zoos, New Jersey takes this notion one step further. By passing a law that prohibits people from giving cigars or whiskey to animals at the local zoo, the creatures in this captivity are obviously not amused. But, since whiskey is the only liquor specifically named, it leads one to wonder whether providing animals with a cold beer would be just as frowned upon. If not, perhaps the animals could smoke a cigarette from time to time. You know, socially.
South Bend, Indiana: Still on the theme of the animal kingdom, it is illegal in South Bend to make a monkey smoke a cigarette. This law dates back to 1924 when a monkey was convicted of the crime of smoking a cigarette and forced to pay a fine of $ 25, in addition to the costs of the trial. We are not sure what happened when the monkey, recently out of work, could not raise the money. Perhaps, you were prohibited from participating in some form of evolution.
Newport, Rhode Island: Resting on the east coast, Newport has a law that prohibits people from smoking a pipe after sunset. Any other time is fine, but once the sun goes down, this is a law that the avid tobacco lover cannot put down his pipe and smoke.
Marceline, Missouri: In this Missouri city, minors can buy rolling papers and tobacco, but they can’t buy lighters. If only, if only, there was a way to get matches easily, maybe at a local restaurant or café. Perhaps in a perfect world, the ability to find matches would appear.
Obviously, this world contains a myriad of laws that are founded on as many reasons as rejecting a million dollars or volunteering to stay on the Titanic. But the cigar smoker can be sure that it is not only his luxury that falls victim to this madness. These kinds of laws are everywhere, from prohibiting humming to making it illegal to drive in a smock, these kinds of rules put the word “horrible” in the word “legal.” And they make one wonder if more laws can be passed, perhaps a rule that replaces every cigarette with its superior: one cigar.