hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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April 25, 2012

Editorial: Don't worry, they're doing it for your own good

(Continued)

The regulations would also forbid smoking near the entrances and open windows, including any drive-through windows, of restaurants, bars and other buildings open to the public.

The board has yet to define how near is too near, though it was originally talking about imposing a 25-foot forbidden zone. The final parameters will be decided after the usual show trial-style public hearing

To the Health Board, the need for the rules is clear: They know better than you what's good for you and, besides, other health boards have already imposed such regulations, including that progressive hub of northern Worcester County, Athol.

"Health costs are rising," said Carbone. "Smoking is a proven health hazard, as is second-hand smoke, so to protect the general health of the public we want to stiffen these regulations."

See? They're doing it for your own good.

The trouble is much mischief, and much curtailing of our right to be let alone, can be done under the banner of protecting the general health of the public.

CVS and Walgreens should start thinking now about how they will stock those aisles lined with fattening candy and snack foods, insufficiently protective suntan lotions and allergy-provoking cosmetics once those unhealthy products are banned for the common good.

Because unless we draw the line, this is just the beginning for the nanny-staters whose urge to control every aspect of our lives can never be satisfied, no matter how much ground we cede.

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