CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Hassling smokers for fun and profit

We all know that smoking is bad for you. This would be why so many doctors smoke maybe? Well, in 1949, most who did, smoked Camel, apparently:

Funny how that ad is completely socially unacceptable nowadays and, anyone who believed otherwise would quickly be labelled as an ignoramus. But, what has become socially acceptable in it's place today, is non-smokers hassling smokers for sport, because if there's one thing I agree with pro-smoking hoaxer Thomas Joschko over, it's that smokers are being hassled. Sometimes violently, for no legitimate reason and, even in the open air!

As Barry Goodman writes in Anti-smoking advocates turn nasty, horrified by the vitriol of anti-smokers, he asks what became of tolerance:

"Something worrying is happening if, like me, you are a smoker. I'm not referring to The Ban, which comes into effect in England on July 1, but to the licence that impending event has given the anti-smoking brigade to make their feelings known early. In the past 12 months I have been physically assaulted three times while smoking in perfectly legitimate places - twice at street tables outside cafes, and most recently in a restaurant when there was only one other table occupied."

This vitriolic anti-smoking brigade has more international branches too:

One day last year at the bus station - that is the open part of the bus station OUTSIDE the back of the building, where the diesel-belching busses pull in - in Icod, in Tenerife, I witnessed some very Canarian style melodrama (almost worthy of an Oscar) from an ignorant woman who "could not" remain seated on the same row of benches (not just a single bench) as a smoker.

Along with a greatly hammed up performance of disgust, she had to make her feelings known audibly and repeatedly, to all and sundry in the vicinity. Added was an unspoken inference that non-smokers have become higher class citizens, who now have a greater right to sit on public benches.

It wasn't actually violent, but such flamboyant, reactionary behaviour in public easily entices other people to adopt such illogical views and for the situation to escalate. Have not these anti-smoking crusaders thought that outside cars, trucks - and, in this case, diesel fumes from a constant stream of smelly busses - not to mention all the belching muck from heavy industry, will cause far more dangerous fumes than a whole boat load of chain-smokers?

For instance, Living in Cairo Is the Same as Smoking a Pack a Day says, "The average resident of Cairo ingests more than 20 times the acceptable level of air pollution a day, the same as a pack of cigarettes." Mexico City is probably about the same and large cities in China are probably worse.

The health risks from any urban air pollution - to both smokers and non-smokers - must be higher than the risks from any second-hand cigarette smoke, especially out of doors. But, the bans and all the press they get, incite a certain type of "professional objector" into this kind of aggressive, anti-social, intolerant behaviour. Society shouldn't permit that either, but seems currently confused by an apparent "legal right to do the morally wrong."

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