The undercover smoke police,
the ferrets for tobacco:
will they make a busybody cause
into a city cash cow?

Undercover smoke police
skulk in holes and corners:
they do not warn you openly
like a cop in uniform does.

If you can't afford a separate room,
don't let your patrons smoke:
someone might snitch, and the powers that be
will fine you till you're broke.

Who knows if they will ask to smoke,
thus hoping to entrap you?
Who knows if they'll just sit and look,
then with a summons slap you?

The undercover smoke police,
and others of their flavor:
"for your own good" is what they say,
as inchwise they enslave you.

So vote the nanny state from power,
and put it out to pasture;
a grown-up doesn't want or need
a meddler for a master.

Copyright ©© Eric Layman, 2001

Eric Layman discusses the lyrics for the Smoke Police. (Updated comment)

    I wrote this because I wanted to attack "the smoke police", and have fun
doing so. There's too much preaching already, without my tying more
"should-nots" around people's necks.
    Before The Intended recorded it, I used to drop copies off in
restaurants and bars. Several times, the owners told me they liked it.
People who don't want to inhale smoke are free to patronize a smoke-free
    A smoker has the right to smoke anywhere that permits it -- with the
owner of each bar, etc. having the right to say Yes or No. My right to smoke
in a bar is an extension of the owner's property rights. That the government
has the power to ban smoking, does not give them a moral override.
    Recently, I quit smoking for health reasons; but I continue to support
freedom of choice. An attack on the rights of one person is an attack on
every other person's rights.
    Most people, including free-enterprisers, support the idea of the "nanny
state" in some areas. I don't. Government does not have a right to outlaw
behavior which doesn't infringe on others' rights. But if you want
government to take care of you like a child, don't be surprised if they
order you around like a child.
    Originally, I wrote this to "Yankee Doodle". Slowing it down to a
country tune fits the personality of The Intended, and gives the message
more time to sink in.
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