Cross Skokie off the list

So here’s another place Karen and I can’t hang out anymore. Skokie, a Chicago suburb, has banned smoking in:

  • Shopping malls
  • Workplaces
  • Sports stadiums
  • Restaurants
  • Walk-in closets

OK, so the last one’s a joke, but you definitely get the idea. The original proposal would have banned smoking in bars, but then the village’s trustees came to their senses.

It’s not enough for crusading Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen, though:

To those who have sought a complete ban of smoking in all public places, I challenge you to continue your crusade. Your work has only begun this evening. I challenge you to persuade the Illinois General Assembly …

What’s especially alarming is that these smoking bans are becoming viewed as a stamp of progressivity. Once that happens, they’ll get passed out of a kind of jurisdictional peer pressure rather than on their dubious merits. To wit:

“I’m really proud of Skokie today,” said Village Trustee Randall Roberts, who voted for the law. “It’s a giant leap forward for our village.”