Just as New York City extended its smoking ban to include public parks, a county in Kentucky has completely repealed its own ban. It's a move some are calling a win for individual liberty.
The Campbell County Fiscal Court in Newport, KY voted 3-1 Wednesday night to repeal the city's indoor smoking ban just two months after it voted to put the ban in place. Opponents of the ban said the decision should be left up to individual, while supporters say repealing the ban will affect the county's health:
Nky.com reports the meeting was raucous, with one ban opponent even playing dress-up to make his point:
Dr. Robert Tracy told county officials that to strike down the ban would make Campbell County “a backward-looking community.” He added: “We’ll become the butt – and I mean that honestly – the butt of jokes.”
But the majority in the room – some of them offering a standing ovation – won the battle. Many said they didn’t believe studies that showed the harms of secondhand smoke, noting some of them are sponsored by foundations that oppose smoking.
Some criticized doctors and the medical community for taking a position on the issue. Ban critic Charlie Coleman, a county resident for more than 60 years, drew raucous applause when he compared anti-smoking efforts to tactics used by dictators such as Hitler.
Other opponents couched the debate as one between hard-working, blue-collar people and an elitist medical community that seeks to remove liberties of the common workers.
Tim Nolan of Grants Lick wore a white lab coat and called himself “a doctor of liberty.” He told county officials that a vote against the ban would show people: “Campbell County is the true springboard of liberty for the rest of the state.
“I’ve taken the pulse of liberty … it is very, very strong in Campbell County.”