Having worked on several campaigns during the 2002 elections, I don’t recall hearing any candidate promising, “Vote for me and I’ll turn them saloons into health spas!”

So it follows that the anti-smoker legislation that was sneaked through the back door was not the result of any mandate on the part of the voters. Our representatives would do well to remember that we hired them to work on the issues of:

1. Health care;

2. Prescription drugs;

3. Employment;

4. Education; and

5. Fixing the budget.

Once they’ve completed the above assignments and still have time left over before the next elections, then they may return to meddling in the lawful business of grown-ups.

Taverns operate at a 3 to 5 percent profit margin and cannot afford to alienate customers; going smoke-free will cost jobs among bar staff and musicians, California statistics notwithstanding.

Maine ain’t California, and be thankful for that.

Nonsmokers and smokers have plenty of options now, and that’s the point: adult Maine citizens are already choosing for themselves, and without any State House busybodies joggling their elbows.

If this intrusive legislation passes, then I want a little more notice than we got for the hearings so I can watch one of its proponents walk into a Downeast dockside tavern and tell the fishermen inside to put their cigarettes out.

Kevin Kimball, Lisbon Falls


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