21 November 2006

Another Smoking Ban...Can't They Just "Butt" Out?

OK, so I'm one of "those" people...a smoker. Yeah, I know it's BAD for me, but I'm just trying to prove the lightning CAN strike THRICE...as far as cancer in my family goes. Now that might seem a tad fatalistic, and more than a bit "noir" in my personal appraisal, but that's how things go sometimes. Better to KNOW what you're going to (probably) die from, than to never have a bloody clue and never see it coming.

Now this new smoking ban (enforced by raising the ciggie tax yet again) is nothing short of taking away MY right to decide how I choose to shorten my life (others choose murder, drunk driving, and thereby inflict THEIR choice upon innocents in the process). What *I* do is for (and to) me alone, basically. And those who tout all that secondhand smoke rhetoric can't see the forest (fires) from the trees. They're blowing their OWN smoke from BOTH sides of their mouths. Do these same people refrain from BARBEQUES? Do they move from a neighborhood whenever there's a house fire? What happens to their psyche when something on the stove begins to burn? And we won't even get into vehicular EXHAUST. You're NEVER going to escape ANY kind of smoke TOTALLY, so get over it, hold your breath (ot whatever you prefer) and get on with life, people! It still is not a perfect world.

Time and again, all these politicians do is opt for the EASY way out...and this is no different. Why not take on DUIs..or RAPISTS...(with the same brio) or something OTHER than smokers. How about going after...ARSONISTS...don't THEY cause a lot of SMOKE?

I wonder how many people would take UP smoking if a "safe cigarette" were ever developed? Or if a cancer vaccine were administered to everyone, negating even the slightest possibility of contracting this devastating disease...would tobacco companies reap record profits? You bet you ever-loving arse they would...!

I have no problem with NOT smoking when I dine out...I actually prefer not to smoke (prior to or during a meal), as I enjoy the repast more. After I eat and leave the premises, I DO like having a smoke (and after a really good meal, a nice cigar works wonders). The same goes for any place where others might be offended. I acknowledge their right to NOT smoke, as I would expect them to reciprocate in kind. Live and let live, as I call it. But I suppose this doesn't matter when that damnable CELLPHONE goes off during a movie at the local cinema, or at a Philharmonic concert, does it "Mr. (or MS) Insensitive"? It's a TWO-edged sword in this respect.

By raising the cigarette tax again, isn't this opening the floodgates for more robberies at tobacco stores? And that would (only) be the tip of a very large iceberg. You just KNOW there are those that already do this (I'm thinking the Low Bobs on Lafayette St. which gets knocked over a few times every year by locals from the surrounding neighborhood), and will only "up the ante" when smokes become costlier.

Yes, I will concede that the money from higher ciggie tax *can* go for medical costs...IF indeed THAT is where it will go. Oft times we see things promised...with little or no results. I would point to the WELFARE system and the way it has failed miserably over the years while sucking more taxpayer money into it's cavernous maw as the perfect example.

I just see this as another attempt to be "molded" into something I am not. I pay my taxes, obey the law, never wantonly harm anyone or anything without a severe provocation (turning the cheek now and then), and do everything in my power to "lead or teach by example". Isn't that what defines a "model citizen"? And I smoke. It's MY choice, however bad it might be for me.

Let's not start something (else) that cannot lead anywhere but nowhere.


Jana said...

I read a study once that said that second-hand smoke doesn't hurt people as much as anti-smoking activists want you to believe. I also found out that a lot of these studies are funded by the anti-smoking activists and they only release the information that goes along with their agendas.

Hmm, reminds ya a little of how many large newspapers in the U.S. like to report the bad things happening in Iraq, yet decide to not print the many more good things that are occuring.

I've no problem with someone who wants to smoke. As long as they don't blow smoke in my face while I'm talking and don't smoke right next to me while I'm eating, I say let 'em smoke to their hearts' content! I've no problem with sitting in the smoking section of a restaurant. I've no problem with being in a house where someone(s) smokes. It's not my place to say what they can and cannot do.

This raising taxes on cigarettes is a little like how local governments want to ban fast-food/restaurants/etc from selling food with trans-fats because they say that it's bad for you. Look, if I want to eat a hamburger that's been fried in pig lard and a super mega-sized fried that's been fried in the same grease as the burger, that's MY choice. Don't tell me what I can and cannot eat.

As usual, I applaud you for telling it like it is!


Tim Zank said...

"Let's not start something (else) that cannot lead anywhere but nowhere." Bob that is a wonderful quote...no doubt you already know where I stand on this issue, I've been pretty outspoken.

No body will answer my question either: After they make us all quit, where will they get those 500 million dollars or so a year?