I am a non-smoker. I tried smoking and didn’t like it. Yet I do not feel the need to preach to people about the evils of smoking. I, after all, drink alcohol, consume caffeine and have been known to use diet pills to stay awake to meet a work deadline.

Fact: The research by the US Food and Drug Administration (I believe that’s what they’re called) on Passive Smoking was incorrect (they admitted it on CNN). Whereas there is no way that it can be called good for you Passive Smoking is no worse than breathing the air in any major city. You have to accept that there are things in this world that will kill you. You can’t avoid them all.

What bugs me here is this: I want the right to smoke. The government should not take away that right. Who the hell do they think they are? Next they will tell me that I can’t go skydiving because it’s too dangerous (and I might land on someone). Then they’ll tell me I can’t wear Cashmere because some people are allergic and I might brush against them on the street.

So, soon I won’t be able to smoke at all but I will be allowed to own a gun. Now, call me unstable if you like but I don’t want a lot of hyper-tense ex-smokers walking around haevily armed. The country is dangerous enough already. I don’t know the figures but I would lay good odds that the amount of people that die from being shot is larger than the number that die from passive-smoking related cancer every year.

I want a bullet-proof vest, not anti-smoking legislation. Hell, I want full riot gear, an armoured car and a military escort, and that’s just to go down to the café. I happen to like the fact that, due to cigarettes, South Africans are slightly more relaxed. I don’t want to do trips to Johannesburg anymore if the people up there are going to be any more tense.

Gauging by the amount of people who try to bum cigarettes off me, I am willing to bet that more South African voters smoke than don’t. That means the government is not representing the majority of the country. They’re telling us how to live our lives. That’s not their job. I must admit I like the smell of the shopping malls better these days but the government should allow market forces to decide the rest. If there is a market for non-smoking restaurants and bars they will open. As for the people who light up before I finish my meal, they can smoke if I can fart.

I am not saying that cigarettes are a good thing. There is no doubt they are not healthy, but neither is caffeine, alcohol, red meat, most dairy products or jumping off bridges with a rubber bands tied to your feet. It’s all meant to be my choice, though.

Free country, remember?

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One Response to “98.12.08 Smoking”

  1. Steve Harold Says:

    I think one of the points about smoking and the preaching, if it happens is that, until recently, nons-mokers had to endure the smoke from smokers in public places. Look at the idea of a smoking and non-smoking section in a restaurant. Does the smoke really now it is not supposed to drift across to the non-smoking section. At least with drink, if you indulge you are not making other people drink too.


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