Posted by: Lee | February 19, 2007

Counting down till the 1st of July

Those who know me are most likely aware that I am very opinionated on a particular subject, that subject is smoking. What is my opinion on the subject…….well basically I can’t stand it, I think it is a vile habit. I despise smoking with a passion and believe smokers to be amongst the most selfish people on the planet. I know that is a rather generalist sweeping statement buy hey it’s a free world! I’m entitled to think what I like it.

I’m well aware that a lot of smokers will find my statement offensive and believe that to label all smokers as “selfish” is unfair but honestly I don’t think it is. Smokers who say that they are not selfish will normally argue that they will go outside to have a smoke when at someone’s house and  on’t smoke in a group of non smokers if they feel it to be in-appropriate etc etc. This is a valid point and I take that on board but the issue comes with their attitude towards strangers, not people they know. Smokers very rarely show the slightest consideration for strangers, they see it as their right to light up, stuff anyone in the immediate vicinity who has to put up with the smell, they want a cig so they will have one (you know you do it).

I’m tired of going to restaurants and enjoying a nice meal then have it ruined by someone somewhere in the restaurant lighting up and allowing their second hand smoke go drifting around the establishment (yes I am in the non smoking section but there is rarely a seal between the two sections). Smoking in a restaurant is damn right rude!  I’m tired of sitting upstairs in a non smoking section of a bar or in a cinema only to then smell the whiff of someone secretly lighting up. Or generally going in a bar and being forced to inhale the second hand smoke of the chain smoking addicts whilst my eyes get progressively redder and start to sting. One of the worst things the morning after a night out (apart from a hangover) is getting in the shower and washing your hair and smelling the scent of stale cigarettes being washed out of your hair……..and then you smell your clothes……..straight in the wash. I hate it!

There is a bar I frequent in Manchester quite regularly which is non smoking throughout, it is a joy to visit. You can sit and have a quiet drink and not disappear in a cloud of smoke. When you come out your clothes don’t need sticking or need an immediate wash. I’ve seen people try to light up in there before, such is the selfishness of the smoker, and always take great joy in witnessing the management threatening to eject them should they not extinguish their cancer stick.

I believe there is only one place for smoking and that is in the smokers own home. I do not believe a smoker has any right to smoke anywhere where the public may come into contact with their smoke. As far as I see it there is no argument to justify it, there are no benefits to smoking. It destroys the lungs of the smoker and it affects the lungs of anyone else in the immediate vicinity. Anything which by its very nature harms people surrounding it through no fault or choice of their own should not be allowed in public.  

There is a group called FOREST (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco) who frequently join smoking debates. They like to stand up for the rights of smokers, spinning the line it is a free country, smokers should be free to choose when and where they smoke, blah blah blah, what about the freedom of the significant majority of the population that do not smoke and their right to choose whether or not they should have to be subjected to second hand smoke??? FOREST don’t have a leg to stand on, it is like trying to argue “why can’t I inhale chlorine gas in public whilst also allowing it to dissipate into the surrounding environment”………both items cause harm to the human body whether it be slow gradual damage or immediate damage.

And as for smokers who smoke in a car with the window closed with kids in the back or generally around kids…..they should be shot. How can you subject children to your poisonous gases??? Or the fact that you work less hours in a day as you keep nipping off for a fag brake….why do smokers not have to work longer hours to compensate for the breaks they take????……is it not discrimination to allow some to have breaks and others not!

Thankfully smoking is gradually becoming more and more taboo and smokers are seeing the errors of their ways and trying to quit. I say good luck to them and hope they enjoy the day when they get their sense of taste back (seriously, smoking dampens your taste buds). The fact that smoking will be banned in all public establishments from the 1st July is brilliant move by the government (the one decent thing they have done since they came into power). Having been to Scotland since the ban came in there, I can truly appreciate the difference a smoking ban makes. Bars are far nicer places to visit. Of course when the ban comes it will be interesting to see how many smokers try and still smoke in places where, I’m sure there will be many, that is the nature of smokers, they are addicts. Proving in the process how selfish they can be. What will be more interesting Is how it is tackled.

So roll on July, bring on the ban and to all you smokers who oppose it……….tough sh*t! It’s about time you stopped subjecting us to your addiction!!!!!

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