Elizabeth Daigneau is GOVERNING's managing editor.E-mail: email@example.com
Whether you agree with city-enforced smoking bans or not, you can probably at least see the arguments for them -- people shouldn't be subjected to carcinogens just to enjoy a meal or a drink in public.
But Chicago's ban on smoking might be going a little overboard. The ban -- which includes herbal cigarettes -- has forced the Broadway musical Jersey Boys to rewrite its script, according to the Chicago Tribune:
The Chicago production of "Jersey Boys" has gone smoke-free in the last few days. It is as if the Four Seasons never took so much as a drag.
But in New York and London, Frankie and the boys still puff away. That's because those more enlightened cities allow artistic exceptions to their bans on smoking in public. But as the anti-smoking law is written in Chicago, no such exception is possible. And the law makes no distinction between tobacco and herbal cigarettes.
The Tribune critic goes on to say that legally requiring "that shows pretend that no-one ever smoked in the history of the world is absurd, unreasonable, damaging to the city's cultural reputation and injurious to art."
So is smoking a First Amendment right?
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.