"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
Mecklenburg County Health Director Dr. Marcus Plescia is asking Commissioners to ban smoking in county parks.
Plescia is on record as saying "the county should model good behavior" and what better place to start than in its parks?
Look, no one denies there's an obvious connection between cigarette smoke and a host of illnesses, and citizens have turned out before the board to express support.
But the ban would include all tobacco use and go beyond parks to include greenways, golf courses and even spaces in private companies where the public is invited inside.
The ordinance would also include electronic cigarettes, which actually create no smoke at all.
Such a wide-sweeping ban has us concerned about what might be prohibited next….and where.
Would it be a stretch to one day wake up and find out you can't smoke in your own home?
Or that the government you support with your tax dollars has decided that burgers, chicken wings and ice cream are no longer acceptable food choices?
America is still a land of choices, including the free will to make lifestyle decisions that don't reasonably harm others.
And so, we feel it's fair to ask where it will all end.
Our Board supports laws that clearly protect the public, but we question those that send us down a slippery slope and attempt to dictate personal behavior.