January 2, 2008

Light 'Em If You Got 'Em?

The man responsible for enforcing a smoking ban in Portugal needs a refresher course on its parameters, as well as a nicotine patch for himself. The day that the new ban went into effect, Antonio Nunes decided to light one up in a casino -- one of the areas where cigarette smoking is prohibited:

The head of the Portuguese agency responsible for enforcing a new ban on smoking in public was seen lighting up at a New Year party, breaking the law on the first day it came into effect.

Antonio Nunes, president of Portugal's food standards agency, was photographed by the daily Diario de Noticias smoking a cigar at a casino on the outskirts of Lisbon.

Nunes told the daily he was not aware the anti-smoking law, which applies to cafes, restaurants and bars, also included casinos. But a spokesman for the Ministry of Health said it did.

"We will have to look into what is in the law," Nunes said.

Well, that would be a nice idea, considering that Nunes is supposed to enforce that law. One presumes that the person heading an enforcement agency for such an intrusive regulation would understand exactly where it applies. And isn't it a little incongruous to have a smoker enforcing a smoking ban?

Smoking bans just constitute the next iteration of nanny-statism. It would be nice if the nannies themselves knew what they were doing. Spending the first day on the job proving that they have no better insight into living than anyone else doesn't help. Nunes showed that he has no business scolding others on a choice he flunks as well.


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