SOURCE: Int'l Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers

April 23, 2008 22:07 ET

Palm Desert Tobacconist Offers 'Modest Proposal' in Response to Council Plan to Tighten Smoking Ban

PALM DESERT, CA--(Marketwire - April 23, 2008) - The Palm Desert City Council is scheduled to consider at its 4pm meeting tomorrow (Thursday, April 24) a proposal to tighten the local smoking ban.

Tobacconist Bert Bruning has a modest proposal of his own.

"Maybe there ought to be a law where everyone in Palm Desert would be made to walk around with plugs inserted up their nasal cavities so they won't be offended by smells from wet dogs and cheap perfume," said the owner of Palm Desert Tobacco and member of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association. "Maybe they should be blindfolded, too, so they wouldn't see ugly people -- not that anyone in Palm Desert is ugly."

That's Bruning's way of pointing out how ridiculous and over the top the proposal is.

"And if anyone didn't like someone's deodorant, maybe the council should consider banning its use inside the city limits," Bruning added with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek.

"Everything is getting totally out of hand," said Bruning. "Our personal rights have been trampled on enough as it is. We don't need government to tell us what to smell, what to look at or what deodorant to use."

Bruning explained that when people talk about the smell of second hand smoke they are usually referring to cigarette smoke. "A good cigar is different," he said. "It is celebratory and a sign of sociability like champagne or a fine wine. It makes an ordinary moment special and a special moment extraordinary."

According to Bruning, regulars and tourists from around the world have been coming to his store in Palm Desert for more than 25 years to enjoy a fine cigar in peace. "In fact, a lot of people come in just to smell the aromas of premium cigars and pipe tobacco. Let's use a little common sense here. The current ban is effective enough. We don't have to swat flies with sledgehammers and put small businesses out of business at the same time."

Bruning suggests that, at the very least, economic impact studies should be conducted by the Chamber of Commerce to see how the current ban is affecting local businesses before further action is taken on the proposal.

"Or the council could just drop it and consider banning something important, like wet dogs, cheap perfume and bad deodorants, instead."

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