Monday, October 09, 2006

Smoking in public places

In the wake of France's measure to ban tobacco smoking in public places, as well as less stringent moves in a number of cities in the US and UK, we might ask the question, "what's so sacred about tobacco anyway"? Yes, there's a long tradition of tobacco smoking in both modern industrial and tribal societies, but the tradition took hold long before we were aware of the extreme health risks. There are regulations governing the incineration of toxic materials in public places in most nations, for glaringly obvious reasons. Perhaps we should ask ourselves, why one rule for tobacco and another rule for everything else?

Relatively speaking, tobacco smokers are on easy street, and might appreciate the fact. First of all, their addiction and habit is legal, despite it's use being responsible for over 400,000 deaths in the US each year. For those who prefer to smoke a marijuana joint however, incarceration and/or a fine is the likely outcome should they get caught by law enforcement.... as well as indirect effects of a drug bust, such as losing your job, your house, and custody of your children....

I dont think tobacco should be illegal however; we all know the folly of prohibition (even those who own shares in the private corrections corporations). For those who insist on their right to smoke, just remember, that when you light up your cancer stick, non-smokers have rights as well.

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