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Smoka Free 

Wednesday, Jun 7 2006
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Sucka Free has a long tradition of standing up for smokers' rights. It's not that we're addicted to nicotine; we're addicted to America. Say what you will about the evils of lung cancer, the U.S. would still belong to England if tobacco money hadn't helped finance the fight against the Crown.

Alas, tobacco's seminal role in creating this great country appears lost on Supervisor Fiona Ma, who sponsored a new city law that bans smoking at bus, cable car, and train stops.

Sucka Free's exact words upon hearing this news revealed our patriotism: "How the hell are they gonna enforce that?"

We decided to find out by lighting up at transit stops within a few blocks of Sucka Free HQ. At the bus stop at Fourth and Townsend streets, Elle lit her first Marlboro Light, took a few puffs, and ... nothing. No cops, Muni spooks, or ATF agents anywhere. Viva tobacco! Viva America!

Tobacco and the U.S.: 1, Fiona Ma: 0

Then we ambled over to the Caltrain Muni stop. Again, nothing. As Elle's cig clouds dissolved, the city went about its business. The Earth continued to rotate. Somewhere, a dog barked. Hey, Fi, how about a law against barking dogs? Or the Earth rotating?

Tobacco and the U.S.: 2, Fiona Ma: 0

Drunk with scofflaw bravado, we hopped the Muni train without paying and exited at the Second Street stop. Elle lit her third Fiona Ma Spite Stick. A pigeon approached — transit security, perhaps? — but then turned away. Did we mention that Ma has turned away from more debates with Janet Reilly?

Tobacco and the U.S.: 3, Fiona Ma: 0

We ended our crusade for America at the Townsend bus stop between Third and Fourth streets. As Elle smoked, a bus pulled up, the driver stepped out — and promptly lit up. When told about the ban, Steve Young ("Just like the quarterback") replied that he hadn't heard about it. He admitted he's been trying to quit, showing us an unopened nic patch pouch. Young thanked us and said of the new law, "Maybe it'll get me to stop."

Tobacco and the U.S.: 4, Fiona Ma: 0, The Patch: 1

About The Author

Martin Kuz

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