I have written previous posting regarding the anti-smoking propaganda, but I feel its time to revisit the subject. My opinions on the subject have not changed, but I think that people have not heard anything that I have been saying; spurring me to write another angry blog about why people should have the right to choose to smoke or not, as they see fit for themselves.
My first argument for this is where I start with most issues: people should have the right to choose. This country is supposed to be founded on the principle of freedom. When we fight for maintaining freedom we are not just protecting our right to choose, but the right for those around us to choose. This means that the people around us will do things that we disagree with. But disagreeing with something is not a legal foundation for banning it or making it illegal. However, that’s what is happening with smoking. People dislike that others smoke and are pushing for laws to be changed so that choosing to smoke is no longer a legal option. This isn’t right. There are plenty of things in this country that I see people doing that I can’t stand! I hate it when people chew gum with their mouths open and when they wear mini skirts that have their asses all but hanging out. This doesn’t mean that I should push for gum and mini skirts to be illegal. They have the right to choose to do these things and my annoyance isn’t relevant in that. I simply don’t look at the mini skirt wearing folk and don’t stand next to the gum smackers. I make the moral choice of not allowing my daughter to wear a mini skirt and even make the choice of not letting her have gum if she is going to drive me nuts with it. That’s where the matter ends and that’s where is should end. If you don’t like being around smoke, don’t hang around people who are smoking. If you find it morally offensive, teach your children not to smoke. But let it end there. Don’t push for the removal of my rights because you find it offensive. What’s next on the generally offensive list to be targeted? And don’t think that the things that you love or cherish aren’t at risk. Once we allow the government the right to choose in one area of our lives, we have opened the door for them to choose for us in other areas as well. It’s a snow ball effect and one that has frightening potential. I am outraged by the recent changes in California law. They have made it illegal to smoke in an apartment. This is ludicrous! Who am I putting at risk by smoking in my apartment? The smoke doesn’t magically travel to other apartments and thus doesn’t present a risk to other people living in the building. I am fine with land lords charging a higher deposit for those that smoke. I agree that once a smoker moves out extra attention needs to be given to an apartment to remove the smell and discoloration of paint caused by smoking. Fine, I will pay for that. Just like I will pay for a broken window. But don’t make it illegal for me to have windows in my apartment because one might get broken! The people defending this new law argue that the risks for second-hand smoke are the same whether in a public space or a bed room. Well, that’s true. But, if you don’t like the smoke, get the fuck out of my bed room! I agree that loud music and having sex in front of the window with the curtains open could be disruptive to my neighbors, but smoking is different. It only affects the people visiting my apartment. I choose to smoke outside because my husband is a non-smoker, I think this is simply the way to show respect for his choice to not smoke. But I don’t want the law to impose that choice on myself and my husband. We are responsible adults and should be allowed to work it out between ourselves. What’s next? This legal move makes it more likely that it will become illegal to smoke in your own home and from there for it to become illegal altogether. So much for having rights…
Read this for more on the new law: http://responsibility-project.libertymutual.com/blog/should-smoking-at-home-be-illegal-/?src=keyword_s=ggl_K=Smoking_C=Law_G=IllegalToSmoke_Smoking_M=exact#fbid=4uiU5BJSZO2&src=keyword_s
My second point of argument is that the reason the majority of anti-smoking people have decided to take their stance is because of the anti-smoking propaganda. How many people can say that they have actually read any of the research done on smoking and the effects that it has on the human body? And how many have actually considered who is doing that research? Well, I have looked at both and have not liked what I’ve found. The research is slim and suspect. I could rant all day about this, but someone else has already written it up nicely. Please, follow the link below and read about the research on smoking.
Now, this isn’t to say that myself or the person who wrote the above article aren’t biased. We are. We are pro-choice for smoking. But, before you decide where you stand on smoking, I ask that you at least hear out both sides of the argument. I have yet to hear a smoker argue for everyone having to smoke or even be exposed to smoking. We just are asking for the right to choose. I don’t smoke around non-smokers without asking them if they are alright with me smoking around them. I think its polite. I also think that the non-smoker is completely in the right to ask a smoker not to smoke around them. Advocating for yourself is a good thing and I am all for it! But don’t sit in the smoking section and then complain about the smoke, that just makes you an asshole. That’s like going to a bar and complaining that other people are drinking. Well, duh. That’s what these places are for.
Lastly, I argue that the risks associated with smoking are no greater than some of the other risks we take every day. However, I have already covered how this drug compares to others (Tylenol and ativan) in common use and will simply refer you to the other post: https://piggiesplace.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/in-defense-of-my-vice-smoking/
Why is it that the CDC has restrictions on who can see the smoking data and how it can be used? If the data is valid, why does it need to be controlled? Seriously, check it out: https://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/sammec/login.asp There’s a warning and its even blocked with a user ID and password. Seriously? WTF?! Since when was research data blocked for general viewing?
In the interest of presenting both sides of the issue, I will add a fewa final point from the anti-smoker’s view. Research does suggest that smoking has health risks, I am not debating that here nor have I ever debated that point. To read the other side of things simply drop “smoking” into a search engine, there’s plenty out there from the anti-smokers.