being smoke free vs. smoking freely

smoking is a disgusting habit. it is a health hazard not only to the smoker, but to anyone who happens to be nearby, leaves behind a horrible odor on the smoker’s (and others) clothing, and looks trashy. with all the new anti-smoking legislation being enacted across the country, i now enjoy it when going into a nonsmoking establishment, especially a bar. there is a definite difference in the atmosphere, for the better, and i don’t leave smelling like cigarette smoke. nevertheless, i am adamantly against all the nonsmoking furor sweeping the country.

i propose that instead of banning smoking in all sorts of places, such as in private apartments in the san francisco suburb of belmont, that we just make smoking tobacco products illegal. if they are truly so bad for us (which they are), instead of banning the action, let’s just ban the product. of course we know this why this will never happen. big tobacco is a multi-billion dollar industry, not to mention the tax revenues generated, and therefore cigarettes are not going to be banned without the fight of a lifetime.

instead of governments making blanket decisions about where smoking is and isn’t allowed, i think individual businesses should be able to make that decision for themselves, and then let the customer decide whether he or she wants to patronize that business. if smoking is going to remain legal, banning smoking within government buildings and public spaces is fine, but a privately owned business should have the right to determine what activities take place within that business, especially if the activities are not illegal in and of themselves.

and the government just needs to completely butt out when it comes to smoking in private homes and automobiles. it is not the government’s job to protect us from ourselves. let us live our lives and make our own mistakes and deal with our own consequences. i grew up with two parents who smoked whenever and wherever they pleased and i turned out fine. (actually it may be because of that that i’m not a smoker myself.) my mother was a nurse for many years and smoking actually was allowed at the hospital desks, which is abhorent to think of now. my father passed away a couple of years ago due to throat cancer, which is a horrible way to die, but this was the unfortunate result of choices he made. still i hate to think of the idea that his smoking in his own home potentially could have been considered illegal by some local governments.

if it’s such a health hazard, make it illegal. however, since that’s not going to happen, then let people choose the manner in which they can slowly kill themselves, as long as they are not taking other people out along the way.


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