As more and more states adopt laws that prohibit smoking in public, crushing the hopes of cigar smokers with the ease of crushing a used cigarette, people everywhere are calling “foul,” restraining themselves from telling lawmakers to kiss their ash. The laws, to the avid cigar smoker, are avidly ridiculous.
But, ridiculous laws are a part of worldly culture. From a law in Denver that forbids people from loaning vacuum cleaners to other residences, to a law in Wyoming that prohibits people from taking photographs of rabbits during the month of June, many rules and regulations simply make no sense. There is even a law in Champaign, Illinois that makes it illegal for someone to pee in the mouth of their next door neighbor, undoubtedly ruining the weekend plans of innumerable Midwest citizens.
It was only a matter of time before this law lunacy filtered into the tobacco industry. Recently, they’ve become more obvious, branding our world with a “No Smoking” sign. Not limited to any one state, or any one country, strange smoking laws can be found almost anywhere.
Australia: Australia has a law that bans children from purchasing cigars or cigarettes. This isn’t particularly strange as many countries have similar regulations. However, Australia stands out because children, though they can’t purchase tobacco, are legally allowed to consume it. As long as they get an adult to buy it for them, Australian children are freely allowed to smoke a cigar in front of a policeman, a parent, a teacher, or even a kangaroo.
New Orleans, Louisiana: In a city known for guilty pleasures – home to everything from Mardi Gras to extravagant casinos – cigar and cigarette smoking are a bit tamed. New Orleans possesses a law that prohibits anyone participating in a carnival or parade to use tobacco products while doing so. In addition to this, a “No Smoking” sign must be visibly attached to all parade floats, not that any onlookers, with troves of nearby women attempting to get beads, are really paying attention.
Zion, Illinois: Just when you think you’ve heard it all in regards to rules, there is a law in Zion that prohibits owners from giving a lit cigar to any of their domesticated animals. While the law specifically names dogs and cats, it surely applies to any kind of pet: hamster, gerbil, and goldfish. None of these pets are allowed to smoke cigars, no matter how much they beg and plead.
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’s because ashtrays are known to prey on unsuspecting victims, jumping them in alleys and blinding them with a cloud of dust. But the most likely reason is simply because it’s France. A nation reputed for passivity, some people may think the citizens of France are homicidally threatened by the cast from The Brady Bunch. We do hear that Marcia’s packing.
New Jersey: While a sign reading “Do Not Feed the Animals” is common in many zoos, New Jersey takes this notion one step further. Passing a law that prohibits people from giving local zoo animals cigars or whiskey, the creatures in this captivity obviously have no fun. But, being that whiskey is the only liquor specifically named, it leads one to wonder if providing the animals with a cold beer would be equally frowned upon. If not, perhaps the animals would be able to smoke a cigar on occasion. Ya know, socially.
South Bend, Indiana: Keeping with the animal kingdom theme, in South Bend it is illegal to make a monkey smoke a cigarette. This law goes back to 1924 when a monkey was found guilty of the crime of smoking a cigarette and forced to pay a fine of 25 dollars, as well as trial costs. We’re not sure what happened when the monkey, recently out of work, wasn’t able to come up with the money. Perhaps, he was prohibited from partaking in any 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 sets, this is one law the avid tobacco lover can not put in his pipe and smoke.
Marceline, Missouri: In this Missouri town, minors are allowed to purchase rolling papers and tobacco, but they aren’t allowed to purchase lighters. If only, if only, there was a way to get matches easily, perhaps from a local restaurant or café. Maybe in a perfect world, the ability to find matches would appear.
Obviously, this world contains a great number of laws that are founded with about as much reason as turning down a million dollars or volunteering to stay on the Titanic. But, the cigar smoker can rest assured that it’s not just their luxury that falls victim to this madness. These kinds of laws are everywhere, from prohibiting humming to saying its illegal to drive in a housecoat, these kind of rules put the word “awful” in the word “lawful.” And, they make one wonder if more laws can be passed, perhaps a rule that replaces every cigarette with its superior: a cigar.