Things continue to get worse for smokers.

First, we banned all smoking from bars and buildings in the state.

Then came Santa Monica, banning smoking in all of its public parks.

And recently, county supervisors decided to snuff out smoking on Mothers Beach and other county-maintained beaches.

Up in Sacramento, state officials are pondering whether to ban smoking on all beaches in the state.

And now comes word that if you want to use the designated areas inside a terminal at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), you’ll have to forget about lighting up with a cigarette lighter and bring along some old fashioned matches — but not too many matches or they will be confiscated.

This week, the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began enforcing its new federal law about banning all forms of lighters from check points at the nation’s airports.

The law, signed by the President December 17th, went into effect as we sent this week’s Argonaut out onto the streets — Thursday, April 14th.

You can read the details of the lighter ban on page 12.

When we read of the details of the lighter ban at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), we couldn’t help but wonder what will happen to those lovely smokers gardens that the airport spent lots of money to create inside terminals awhile back.

Well, for the moment anyway, smokers will still be able to carry a limited number of matches through checkpoints at LAX and into the lovely smoking gardens.

How long matches will continue to be allowed is anyone’s guess but we suspect most smokers will not have gotten the message before they try to pass through that first TSA checkpoint with cigarette lighters.

Forget the messages about getting to the airport early so that you can get through the lines in time to make your flight.

Now the big message has to be — at least for smokers — bring matches, the old fashioned kind.

Even though we don’t smoke, we’ve always thought that the smoking gardens, at least the one in Terminal Three, is a great place for smokers.

The rest of us can sit inside, eating Burger King goodies and slurping Starbucks coffee and look out through the glass at the puffers.

You can tell these addicts really do need a final drag before they climb aboard a plane.

But now, those who arrive without matches need to figure out how to light their cigarettes in the lovely smokers gardens without the benefit of lighters.

Perhaps the smokers who left their matches behind can bring along a couple of Boy Scouts to rub together to get a flame going.

Smokers who are unaware of this new TSA ban on bringing lighters into terminals past the first checkpoint are going to have more to grumble about than just the long lines.

And we suspect we are going to have more than a few cranky fellow passengers aboard our next flight out of LAX.

How does that improve safety?

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