Once in a while the issue of smoking comes up here at diablog. As a regular reader you know, Glynsky, Pete, and I smoke. In case you have not noticed, tobacco even has a label here. As you can see, with just 11 posts including this one, it isn’t that all important.
Smiles doesn’t smoke. And he is concerned about our health and encourages us, to stop smoking. Thank you, Smiles. No offense, can I settle that issue?
We know that.
With that out of the way, I would like to point out, that up until the mid to late 90s, smokers and non-smokers lived side by side pretty peacefully.
At all civilized dinner parties and meals, there was no smoking, until we had finished eating. Thereafter, the smokers went for a smoke into another room. Unless everybody smoked, or the non-smokers did not mind us staying at the table.
In the 90s NYC had the most reasonable smoking laws.
Smoking was prohibited anywhere near people having a meal. I welcome that. Who wants to have the taste buds bothered by smoke while eating?
Most restaurants, pubs and bars had separate smoking rooms or smoking sections. The common question from hosts and hostesses was: “Smoking or non-smoking?” Perfect.
Smoking was prohibited in most public buildings, planes, and all other public rooms, where it might bother and would have an impact on non-smokers. There were separate compartments for smokers in trains. Absolutely fine.
My freedoms end, where they start limiting yours.
Then politicians started a campaign.
Yes, you read correctly, politicians did, not the non-smokers. Funny, isn’t it?
Let me explain.
You are somewhat familiar with vegetarianism?
Then you know, that at least since the 80s, vegetarian dishes found their way onto most menus in restaurants. There was demand. And this demand grew so much, that since the 90s you can find vegetarian restaurants in every decent city.
The magic word is “demand”.
Can somebody explain to me, where the demand for smoke-free restaurants, pubs and bars had been? As vegetarians have proven, if there is demand, the market delivers. And there have been way more non-smokers, than vegetarians.
So, where are/were all the non-smokers, looking for smoke-free restaurants and bars?
Guess what, they did not and still do not exist.
In my experience, the majority of non-smokers do not go out often. Even today. (Yes, Smiles, I know, you are an exception.) But why then are the smoking sections (aka sidewalks) in front of restaurants and bars so crowded?
Talk to owners of a restaurant or pub or bar, who have been in business long enough. They will tell you.
So, why all the boo-hey about smoking? Ask yourself: “cui bono”?
This campaign allowed politicians to raise taxes on tobacco products even more. Since the 90s the prices for a pack of cigarettes in NYC went from ~US$2.20 up to ~US$15.00. Besides the crazy law suit settlements, this is largely due to tax increases. In NYC we are paying combined taxes of ~$5.85 per pack. Granted, the tobacco companies sneak in a prize increase every time the politicians are reaching even deeper into our pockets.
This additional tax income gives politicians more money, meaning more power.
Now the non-smoking campaigners are being joined by people, campaigning for higher taxes on “unhealthy food and beverages”. All to fight obesity. Or more accurately, to give politicians more tax income/power.
Think about it, the next time the shmock of Mayor, Bloomberg, claims to make NYC the healthiest city on earth. No politician gives a damn about your health. If in doubt, check legislation regarding pollution, atomic waste, environmental protection, health care, etc. Or in regards to tobacco killing people, think a bit about our wars.They must be very healthy, with the many supporters they have.
With that one settled, there are two things, I kindly ask for.
Would anti-smoking people have the courtesy to get off my back?
Am I inquiring about your weight every day? Or the happy pills you are swallowing? Funny how anti-depressants are the best selling drugs. Or the drinks you had? Your carbon emission?
I am aware of what I am doing. Thanks for your concern.
And the bigot, secret smokers, sneaking in a cigarette whenever they can, while condemning smoking in public, please stop bumming cigarettes off me and grow a pair. I gladly share with smokers. But those “occasional smokers” can %$#! off.