I don't smoke, but I am wary of efforts to prevent other people from so doing. Now, blue cities — and soon states, most likely — have hit upon a way to ban smoking known as "Tobacco Free Generation" (TFG).

It's Pretty Clever

Allow people who can legally buy tobacco today to purchase it, but permanently outlaw the sale of tobacco products to people based on the date of their birth — even as they become adults — as described glowingly in the New England Journal of Medicine:
The bylaw, passed by Brookline, Massachusetts, gradually phases out commercial tobacco by banning the sale of nicotine products to anyone born on or after January 1, 2000 (one of us cosponsored the bylaw). Eventually, no one will be old enough to purchase nicotine products.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld the law, and so now the door is open for other cities and states to follow the leader:
Tobacco retailers sued Brookline over the bylaw. A unanimous March 2024 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision upholding the tobacco-free generation (TFG) bylaw may now boost its viability as a model for other local and state governments. In response to the ruling, health boards in three other Massachusetts towns (Melrose, Stoneham, and Wakefield) voted to implement birth date-based phaseouts, and other municipalities have taken initial steps toward adopting this policy.
The idea is going viral:
The concept of a birth date-based phaseout of commercial tobacco has drawn attention worldwide. New Zealand passed a similar law in 2022, though a subsequent change in government led to its repeal. The concept is under discussion in the European Union, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and Norway. In April 2024, a TFG bill in the United Kingdom cleared a major hurdle in Parliament when a first reading secured strong support. Whereas the Brookline bylaw applies to all nicotine products, including combustible products and e-cigarettes (vapes), New Zealand's repealed law and the U.K. bill cover combustible tobacco products only. This variation reflects ongoing public health discussion about the relative harm of vapes as compared with cigarettes. By including vapes in its TFG bylaw, Brookline targets a key driver of initiation of nicotine use among adolescents.
It's So Odd

Nicotine does not cause cancer, so I don't get the anti-vaping passion at all. Moreover, at a time when many progressives want to legalize hard drugs — Oregon did with catastrophic results — and marijuana is close to full legalization throughout the country, the war against tobacco keeps ramping up. Is tobacco worse than THC, meth, cocaine, or fentanyl?

Or is tobacco just the first villain to be punished by a growing technocracy that seeks to limit freedom based on an ever-expanding definition of "health"? Along these lines, we see efforts to force us to stop eating meat and prevent the use of fossil fuels to fight the "health emergency" of global warming, as just two examples.

Meanwhile, expect this proposal to be adopted by the blue states and resisted by the red — setting up black markets and sparking another front in the great American dividing.

Cross-posted at National Review.