While out running an errand this morning, I saw another driver. Smoking. Well, he actually wasn’t smoking. He had a lit cigarette in his left hand, and had it dangling out the driver’s door window. I was in the car adjacent to him at the light, and I could smell the smoke. I watched, and when the light changed, he drove off, never ever taking a drag. WTF? Is he a smoker or not? Was it just a prop or a talisman?
I don’t smoke. I flirted with cigars and pipes in my youth, in an effort to look older and cool, but didn’t pick up the habit. As a result, I just look older. My real mother died when I was in grade school, of emphysema, contracted as a direct result of her smoking. I don’t blame smoking, I blame an addictive personality.
This doesn’t mean I like smoking. I don’t like the smell of smoke around me. But I also abhor the anti-smoking zealots who simply can’t stand to be around it – and who treat smokers (users of an entirely legal substance) as if they are pedophilic lepers.
The common societal meme is smoking kills. The American Cancer Society and other groups have successfully placed this thought into the American psyche. Turns out, all factors added in, only about 20% of smokers contract lethal illness as a direct result of their addiction. While not a positive statistic, it’s not the you smoke your gonna die! meme.
The same can be said for the whole second-hand smoke thing. Turns out, many of the same political forces responsible for establishing this as settled science are the same folks who want to impose their thoughts about greenhouse gasses and socialism upon the Republic. I’m not providing links – do your own research.
I’m about Freedom. And I can handle a little sniff of tobacco if it really isn’t affecting my health. Being locked in a small office opposite a chain smoker is one thing; sniffing a bit of smoke outside at an intersection quite another.
And, while I’m ranting – what IS it about many smokers who somehow think that it’s okay to fling a burning stub of paper, tobacco and filter on the ground willy-nilly? I’ll bet if I walked or drove around striking matches and throwing them away I’d attract the attention of the authorities!
I’m not pro-smoking. I’m not anti-smoking. I’m pro-freedom.