From The Neshoba Democrat (Philadelphia, Misssissippi), March 13, 2019:

Don’t ever smoke. We are not proponents of smoking, but in many ways, smoking is healthier than fascism.

Government will nose its way into every crevice of our lives. That is why we have a strong U.S. Constitution, but the left is chipping away.

The government does not know best, yet the Philadelphia mayor and some aldermen think they do, given a controversial smoking ban they slipped by on a 2-2 vote last week.

“People don’t understand the dangers of it (smoking) or maybe they disregard the dangers of it, but it’s all deadly to the human body,” Mayor James A. Young told WTOK.

What’s next on the city’s list of bans, fried chicken, liquor and oversized soft drinks?

The mayor went on to say, “Then we look at things we have to change and if we can change something, we can control this.”

Can control what?

If the mayor is interested in controlling anything, it ought to be the out-of-control crime in Philadelphia. He oversees a police department beset with manpower woes in a city where people are getting shot and dying — and yet he wants to get on the TV and talk about smoking?

We can argue abortion kills as well, but where are the mayor and his Democrat colleagues on that issue?

Fascism is defined as radical authoritarian, dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy.

Leave business decisions to business owners and their patrons. Win the day with public opinion and the free market, not government intervention.

Five years ago the Philadelphia Mayor and Board of Aldermen rejected an ordinance that would have banned smoking.

These smoking ban ordinances flow from the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition, which claims to be a grassroots organization but is funded mostly by state government and the tobacco settlement.

These social justice green warriors have gone around the state at our expense pressuring boards into doing the politically correct thing and ban smoking.

Individual liberty allows Americans to do dumb things like smoke. Second-hand smoke is a bad thing. Don’t go where there is second-hand smoke.

Philadelphia’s only downtown bar doesn’t allow smoking inside. Under the mayor’s plan, smokers who huddle outside on the sidewalk would have to go stand in the middle of Beacon Street to be in compliance. That is absurd.

This do-gooder campaign should be directed at business owners. Get them to voluntarily ban smoking like the bar downtown already does inside.

There is no need for government to force establishments to ban smoking. Next, they’ll be rummaging through our kitchen cabinets at home.

A laissez-faire policy that permits private business owners to tailor their own smoking policies according to the demands of their patrons is best.

The free market can provide an optimal number of non-smoking choices and put the smoke-filled joints out of business.