I remember when smoking was fun. All the cool kids were doing it Jen Barber
Do not get me wrong, folks. I really do think that our planet would be a better place without tobacco and smoking. This is my firm belief and nothing can convince me otherwise! And I also know that the absolute majority of people hold the same views.
It’s our own blood that we oppress
Loads of anti-tobacco programs, campaigns, smoking bans have been adopted and revoked from time to time, not to mention all those fancy, creative, touchy ads. No one can deny that there are a number of advantages of such methods. But the naked truth is, some people consider that they also break the natural law of human liberty, individual freedom, business rights and etc. Let me start by stating that neither law-making/revising nor economics is my area of expertise, but I think a little bit of digging would do no harm. I am a non-smoker. Never had an interest to lit a cig :) Some of my friends smoke. A few of them have already quit. And ever since then, they keep saying: ‘The best thing a smoker can do for his or her health is quit smoking”. Well, I presume they are right. What I realised throughout the years of hanging out with them, is that their addiction did not make me feel any less passionate about not having a puff. Not tough enough maybe ;) Anyway, this article is not about the respect or praise towards non-smokers. Because I feel that I am starting to become an old fuddy-duddy. So, what are we overlooking here? Is smoking really a matter of personal(!) choice? If not, why not. If yes, then another question arises as to whether smoking should be banned in public places or not.
It is not a guide in any sense, but a personal approach, and I think that any harsh ‘remedies’ and attitudes against smokers would only make them even more thirsty and obstinate. Like people say: ‘The solution to a problem changes the nature of the problem’
1. Economic impact
A business owner’s point of view
Let’s imagine a small bar where smokers are always welcome to ‘fill it in’. About 70-75% of its customers are heavy smokers and only a few are non-smokers. The owner of this smoker-friendly bar, a smoker himself, is happy (!) about his growing business. So the new law on prohibiting smoking in such places basically is more than capable to take the business down. And it is not rare that there are plenty of such establishments even in small towns. Thus, anti-smoking policies will harm small business owners. Is there any guarantee that a few ‘cleans’ will attract more non-smoker visitors? Favourable it may be, but the owner, perhaps, would not share such optimism. What does the future hold for him? And guess what, now he has no right to smoke in his own bar :) So here is my conclusion: All government-imposed restrictions, policies should leave an open door to allow business owners to set their own criteria.
2. Individual rights
Smoke and mirrors
Who is in opposition to any kind of smoking bans?! The answer is easy and obvious – smokers. For them, smoking is an addiction and they are all sufferers of it. But how do politicians, lawmakers feel about it? (Not all of them are non-smokers I reckon) How do they treat it whilst implying a long-term solution? So, is it a bad habit or an addiction? Mostly smoking is considered as a bad habit. If so, then nobody can restrict other’s legal rights or force them to go nonsmoking without providing a proper justification. Many studies, if appropriately done demonstrate that smoking is more than a bad habit. It is a mix of physical and chemical addiction. There must be a reason for such an uncontrollable tobacco craving, right? Just saying ‘No, you cannot smoke here or there’ is not appropriate for everyone. What I believe is that it needs to be approached in a delicate way. In order to make sure that new rules will not cause any other mental disorders.
Old habits die hard, dears, and by terrorising smokers we are making them even harder to break.
God, I am exhausted. Anyone got a cig?!