Laws That Were Great On Paper (And Insane Everywhere Else) …
6 Laws That Were Great On Paper (And Insane Everywhere Else)
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. And Bourbon.
The point being, history is full of well-meant laws and reforms meant to protect us from ourselves that either don’t do a damned thing, or in these cases, actually make things worse.
Smoking Bans in Pubs and Bars Means More Drunk Driving
Let’s face it, alcohol and cigarettes are a magical combination: They go together like peanut butter and chocolate; a rock star and a porn actress; a Cracked writer and minor felonies.
You’d think it would be common knowledge by now that if you mess with one of these vices, it’s going to affect the other in some way.
But anti-smoking laws have been in the news quite frequently, with newly implemented indoor smoking bans taking effect all across the UK and the U.S. The benefit to public health seems obvious at first glance. But as astute readers might have guessed already, there is always a potential backfire just waiting to happen…
How Did it Backfire?
Smokers who also drink alcohol are going to smoke when they drink alcohol. As obvious as that statement is to anyone with a shred of common sense, the unbreakable bond of smokes and booze escaped lawmakers completely.
They figured that smokers would go to bars, have a drink or two, step outside for a quick nicotine fix and then resume their drinking inside. They forgot to take two tiny little things into account: Winter is cold and wet, and people with genitals typically like to not “freeze them off.”
A study by researchers Scott Adams and Chad Cotti discovered that, when faced with smoking bans in bars near their homes, alcohol-drinking smokers would simply drive further to other jurisdictions where the bans weren’t in place.
That also meant they had a longer drive home when they were potentially drunk off their asses. Adams and Cotti found that, on average, there was a 13 percent increase in drunk driving fatalities in areas that had instituted smoking bans.
If we’ve learned any lesson today, let it be thus: Never underestimate the love affair between beer and cigarettes, or the motivational power of cold balls.
Oh, also don’t drink and drive. That’s somewhere in there too.
Originally written By: Robin O’Lachlan, Dave Easton