Endangering The Cash Cow?

Is this attempt going to be the charm? A story in the this morning’s Argus documents the latest discussions on passing a total ban on smoking in all bars and restaurants in the state.

As Minnesota prepares to become the 17th state to ban tobacco in all bars and restaurants Monday, tobacco foes in South Dakota are working on plans for a similar ban to be proposed this January in Pierre.

“I think it’s safe to say we’ll be bringing forward legislation that would prohibit smoking in restaurants and bars,” said Jennifer Stalley, project director for the South Dakota Tobacco-Free Kids Network and director of government relations for the South Dakota chapter of the American Cancer Society.

I will be watching this debate as it unfolds next year because it will be interesting to see if those that came out against the minimum wage hike because it dictated how business must run will do the same when our legislators attempt to tell businesses whether they can allow smoking or not in their establishments.

Either way I sure hope the state isn’t counting too heavily on it’s latest cash cow in the form of the $1 a pack cigarette tax increase. With this latest assault on smokers coupled with the 61 cent per pack federal tax increase that is being proposed to fund the possible SCHIP expansion, smokers are being legislated and taxed out of existence.

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