Since Bhutan seems to be getting by just fine without tobacco sales, White Rock Councillor Matt Todd wants to see if we can make it work here. He's proposing that White Rock become the first city in Canada to ban tobacco sales.

Draconian? Unworkable? Nannyism? Bhutan has heard it all before. Does Todd have a chance? Hard to say; powerful business interests are swinging their howitzers towards him now.

And why bother, when no point in White Rock is more than a kilometre from Surrey where stores will happily provide nic-fixes to White Rock's addicts? Todd says the point is denormalization of smoking, which is a fancy word for helping the public realize that voluntarily setting something in your face on fire is not exactly a particularly sane thing to do by a sentient being. And getting rid of the power walls of cigarettes behind White Rock store counters brings us one step closer to a world where smoking is simply not considered normal.

In 1995, White Rock became one of the first Canadian cities to unilaterally ban smoking in restaurants rather than wait for a coordinated GVRD attack plan, a move which was also heavily vilified by business interests as draconian. Don't count White Rock out just yet.