Prohibition worked so well the first time

The town of Westminster, Mass. considers banning tobacco sales entirely, and the American Lung Association eggs them on [Boston Globe, AP]

P.S. David Boaz: “Does it surprise you to know that this town was founded by Puritans?”


  • Maybe it is just me, but I find it interesting that a town of 7,700 people has a “Health Department” which employs three people – a health agent, an assistant health agent, and an administrative assistant.

    It is almost as if they are looking for things to do and decided on the tobacco ban. After all, they have to justify their jobs somehow.

  • We still have “dry” towns without causing crime; legal liquor is just ten minutes away by car. Statewide bans, or Statewide exorbitant taxes, would be another matter.

  • Their mandate may be broader than expected. It looks like they handle sanitation (e.g approvals for sewage systems and wells) and food safety (restaurant inspections, regulation of food at public events), as well as communicable diseases and so forth.

  • Althought there are still dry towns and counties around, and even states where the govt controls the sale of alcohol, it appears that this quaint custom is gradually going away, while the tobacco nannies seem to be increasing the heat to move towards tobacco prohibition.

    (Full disclosure: I don’t smoke, never have, and consider it a nasty habit. My father died with his last cigarette in his dead hand. But he fully understood what he was doing.)

  • There was a hearing on this proposal on November 12th. The meeting ended after three citizen comments and the crowd got “out of hand.”

    Interestingly and more fodder for Overlawyered is that if the proposal is passed, there is a lawsuit by a tobacco and retail groups ready to be filed.

  • […] Townspeople came out loudly and in force to oppose the proposed Westminster, Mass. ban on all tobacco sales, and that has thrown advocates back a bit [New York Times, MassLive, earlier]: […]