Thursday, October 29, 2009

In defense of smokers.

Well, it turns out that here in the upstate, there are wheels in motion to completely ban smoking in public places.

Now, first, I should point out that I quit smoking over a year ago. A public smoking ban won't effect me at all...but I still don't like it.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with banning smoking in public buildings and resteraunts and I certainly believe that littering with cigarette butts should be illegal and carry a hefty fine...but attempting to stop people smoking outside or in 'traditional' places like bars and clubs is just wrong.

You see, second hand smoke really isn't an issue, health wise. Second hand smoke causes less damage than walking alongside a busy road. Without going into statistics, let's just look at the common sense answer. You have to smoke for years to significantly increase your risk of lung cancer. If it takes years of smoking twenty a day, walking past someone in the street who is smoking just isn't going to do you any damage.

Basically, it boils down to a comfort thing. People want a smoking ban because they don't like the smell of cigarette smoke. My question is: Why is the comfort of non-smokers more important than the comfort of smokers? If it bothers you that someone is smoking around is that any different to someone being bothered by not being allowed to smoke?

Let's put this into perspective.

I really hate it when I walk down the street and someone who just bathes in perfume or cologne walks past me, but there's no law to ban people from wearing cologne in public. I don't like it when someone is listening to music on cheap headphones with the volume turned up as high as it can go, but you can't kick them off buses. I really, really hate assholes who talk on their cellphones loudly in restaurants...and you can bet your life that there will never be a cellphone ban.

Basically, banning smoking in public just comes down to something a minority of people do that the majority doesn't like. That's something that comes down to individual discretion, not a matter for the state legislature.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a non smoker who voted against banning smoking in public in my state for the same reasons. It passed in my state and I feel bad for the smokers out in the cold!