The board of health was less than enthusiastic about the idea of a cigar bar opening in Falmouth. The owner of C.B. Perkins tobacco shop brought the idea to the board last week. Members of the board were dead against it.
Board member Steven Rafferty pointed out the obvious: Smoking is very unhealthy. He went on to say that he could not be in favor of increasing accessibility to tobacco products. Board chairwoman Diana Molloy pointed out that smokers carry the health impacts into old age. And board member Benjamin Van Mooy made the point that smoking prevention is a regional issue that a local store could undermine.
It is understandable that Mr. Diwan, owner of C.B. Perkins, would like to add a cigar bar as a feature to his store. He is an entrepreneur and a bar would fit nicely with his existing business. Further, we have friends who enjoy an occasional cigar; they are not at all addicted to nicotine and might enjoy an occasional stop at a cigar bar.
But the board of health is right to discourage it. Tobacco use is not healthy and those who use it eventually impose financial impacts on all of us in the way of greater health care costs.
What harm could one cigar bar inflict? Probably not a lot.
We wonder, though, how many remember the fight to eliminate smoking in restaurants many years ago. It was ugly and some restaurant owners carried a grudge for a long time after.
Better to discourage public use of tobacco in any form. It should be discouraged, public or not, but once allowed publicly it will be very difficult to turn the clock back.