Today smoking bans are common place as laws and regulations are set restricting smoking in public. Often these laws meet little challenge as smokers no longer make up a majority of people in the United States and the West. However in colonial America, smoking was very common, and when the first smoking laws were passed, people weren’t going to stand for it.
In 1639 New York City was a Dutch Colony called New Amsterdam. It was then that the colonial governor, Wilhelm Kieft, made a decree banning the smoking and the sale of tobacco. To the people of New Amsterdam the law was an outrage that could not be allowed to happen. The next day, 2,000 smokers stormed the governors mansion. Rather than resorting to violence the smokers did what they did best; everyone gathered a seat and began to smoke.
It did not take long for Kieft’s house to fill with smelly tobacco smoke. When Kieft finally confronted the smokers and warned them that they were breaking the law, the smokers only responded by smoking more vigorously, sending Keift into seclusion.
After two days of the smoking protest, the insides and outside of the governors residence was covered with a large cloud of second hand smoke. Finally Governor Kieft gave in, rescinding the law for want of fresh air. The rebellious smokers left in peace and thus ended the rebellion.