August 27th, 2007
01:50 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton: public smoking ban a 'good day for America'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - New York Sen. Hillary Clinton promised to fight to reduce smoking during an appearance at Lance Armstrong’s presidential forum on Monday. The presidential hopeful also said she thinks smoking should be banned from public places.

"Well, personally I think so," Clinton said when asked if banning smoking in public in public places would be a "good day for America."

Calling tobacco an "an addictive, deadly substance," Clinton said the FDA should be able to regulate tobacco products and advertising for cigarettes. She said a national ban on smoking was impractical because of local zoning laws, but said it's possible to further limit it by increasing taxes and prices for cigarettes.

"We'll eventually get there," she said. "We're lowering the rate of smoking now, and I think over the next decade we'll really push it way down."

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Kim, Saint Louis, MO

    I think Abraham Lincoln wrote this about George Bush: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

    August 27, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. Claude, Mesa AZ

    Yeah, tell that to the smokers.

    August 27, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. John Swanson Chicago

    Legalize it. Yes, IT.

    August 27, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Dave Fisher, Boston MA

    As a bar/clubgoer I'm happy about smoking bans. Boston is 100x better place to go out in when you don't have to dryclean everything you wear after going out one night (and detox your lungs) after being at a bar for a few hours.

    I don't like it any more whenever I have to walk into a building and there's a huge crowd outside smoking. It's just not nice to other people around you. We don't consume alcohol on the streets, why do you need to smoke on the streets?

    August 27, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. Mark Gentry

    Yea. We tried controlling drug usage back in the 20's. Gave rise to the "Smoke Easy's" or something like that. Must have worked. Have't heard anything about'em since.

    August 27, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. C.M. - Los Angeles, CA

    I'm a Democrat and I've been quietly waiting in the wings, taking in all the information, and then making my decision about where my volunteer work and support will go.

    These comments DO NOT help Clinton in my opinion. They're definitely pushing me in another direction. While I'm not a smoker, I believe that smokers have the right to light up.

    Bad call, Hillary. She needs to stay away from those Bush-like, Gestapo-like comments.

    August 27, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. VanReuter NY NY

    Doesn't Obama smoke?


    August 27, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Franklin, Buffalo, NY

    Yes! Finally someone who will prevent me from having to walk by people who smoke outside of public places. It smells awful, and I don't want to smoke–if I did I would have my own cigarette lit. 🙂

    August 27, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. Julie, Buffalo, NY

    Way to go Hil!!!

    August 27, 2007 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. Carl, Dallas, Texas

    Meanwhile the morbidly obese person curses out the thin smoker for killing them slowly with second-hand smoke... when are people going to realize that smoking isn't the problem... if it's such a big deal, ban it in this country... obesity is 100 times the bigger issue and it's being swept under the rug

    August 27, 2007 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. DER

    I thought smoking was legal in our country. we are blurring the lines between legal and healthy.... If we go down that road... I'd like to hear the presidential wantabes, talk about unhealthy eatting habits.....lwts charged double for fries or candy etc..... I am tired of the double standards for the feelgood hot buttoms and sound bites the media uses to help an election.

    August 27, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. Dan, Columbia MD

    Nice. Sen. Clinton is in favor of a police state.

    To Kim from St. Louis, what does a proposed supporting a public smoking ban have to do with President Bush? Oh yeah, absolutely NOTHING.

    August 27, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. TheDonald

    I'm sure she is also trying to tell people about Obama's former smoking habit. The senator from New York is currently suffering from diarrhea of the mouth...

    August 27, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. James, Phoenix AZ

    I wonder.. are the anti-republicans (who accuse conservatives of controlling the rights of others) bothered by Hillary's statements?

    "A national ban on smoking was impractical because of local zoning laws"... "We'll eventually get there".

    What's next on your list of prohibition, Hillary? Alcohol and Firearms?

    August 27, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. KLHA KC,MO

    I wonder if Hillary has every accepted money from a tobacco lobbyist? Personally, as an ex-smoker (two packs a day), I dont even like to be around places where there is smoking these days. But to ban it in all public places seems to be an abuse of power. How would you enforce that? Smoking police? Shouldnt our police officers be catching those that murder, rape, steal, etc.?

    To take away the one of the freedoms we enjoy is not the way our founding fathers would have envisioned the world of today. Besides, more than a few were tobbacco farmers, so they might have had a personal issue with this type of govt. interference.

    What's next, banning trans fat? oh yeah, they already have done that in some places.

    Ban red meat? Oh yeah, there are groups that want that done too.

    Ban anything deemed "bad for you"? Its not that far off if we keep letting the govt micro-manage our lives and businesses.

    P.S. I do think that smoking is a nasty habbit, and people should quit on their own, not by a govt. action.

    August 27, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. WENDE, OKC, OK

    A good day in America will be when Hilary Clinton is annouced President of the United States!

    This is just another reason to vote for her! She is wonderful!

    August 27, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  17. Wende, OKC, OK

    Hilary becoming President will be a good day in America!

    This is yet another reason why she is the best choice for President!


    August 27, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. John Swanson Chicago

    Disclaimer: This Post contains heavy sarcasm.

    Hey Hilary, how IS that war in Iraq that you voted for going these days? Oh?! SMoking ban!?!? way to go hil! USA! USA! USA! The land where freedoms are stipped from you daily!! Go hilary, really tackling the problems and social injustices around the world with her tea party EXPERIENCE! yeah! america is perfect now that smoking is banned!

    August 27, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. ReadBtwthlins

    So Hillary wants to raise taxes on cigarettes, for your own good... Leave it to the dems to find new reasons to raise taxes. Any taxes will do..

    What's next? Coffee, tea, candy anyone?? And where is that exercise tax? Its only fair to those of us who do and are in good health because of it, right...., Hillary?

    Or is this just another meaningless promise from a do nothing Senator??

    August 27, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Linda St. Louis Missouri

    Senator Clinton needs to remember smokers vote too, and are getting pretty sick of being discriminated against, and taxed to death. This is a free country right? All rights need to be preseved including our right to smoke!!!!!!!!!

    August 27, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. Maude Tempe Arizona

    Hillary can't control her man who sleeps around...but she wants to be Big Sister of America and curb smokers......What a joke she is.

    August 27, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Brad Murfreesboro TN

    But your right to smoke infringes on my right to live happily. Because i sure don't like getting lung cancer because of someone elses folly. Especially when they know what they are doing. Smoking doesn't only effect you, it effects those around you. So as are as your constitutional right to smoke, thats debatable.

    August 27, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Isaac, Louisville, KY

    Interesting that someone can find a way to bring Bush into a conversation about this story.

    Not belonging to any political party, from time to time Clinton says something I identify with. In this case, employing the "Your right to swing your fist stops at the end of my nose" argument, I think a clear and powerful argument can be made for outlawing smoking in public places. Any move like this might require building lots of new smoking areas, though.

    I suppose the biggest question would be: Why would Clinton make a statement like this? It seems that any benefit would be small, but the potential losses are great. A large percentage of America's smokers are registered Democrats. I'm not certain if a statement like this would cause a Clinton supporter to switch their support to Obama or Edwards, but I don't see it helping her.

    Regardless of the political implications, I do believe smoking is on its way out. In this country it's only a matter of time before something as indefensible smoking in public places, something that could be likened to a very slow and subtle form of homicide (with selfish obliviousness substituted for motive), is dealt with.

    In America, the free world, we are supposed to be able to do essentially whatever we wish to... provided it doesn't hurt another person or trample their rights.

    August 27, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. D. Colorado Springs, CO

    As a smoker, I'd have to say 'Hillary, please put down what you're smoking and return to reality'. As a smoker that believes in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I'd have to say 'Hillary, please put down what you're smoking, return to reality, and quit trying to mess with peoples rights again'.

    August 27, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. Jayson, Beale AFB, CA

    Smoking taxes are just another fine example of un-Constitutional taxation imposed upon this country by the loons in Congress. The whole idea of one group of people being taxed to pay for health insurance for poor people is absurd.

    The founding fathers never intended for taxation to work like this and it is about time Congress started following the Constitutional guidelines for taxation.

    August 27, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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