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Brookitacita Posts: 59 Registered: 12/4/06
Re: NWR: Your feelings on smoking
Posted: Jul 30, 2008 5:27 AM
Smoking is unhealthy. Period. It is unhealthy for the smoker, and unhealthy for the people around that smoker. In this day and age, we know this as a fact. You can argue the degree all you want, but the fact remains that to some extent it is unhealthy. Should it be made illegal? No way. It's way too late for that. People that want to smoke will smoke, and there is no way to control that. We all know that people are going to continue to do it and it would fail just like prohibition did. And that's fine, we won't make it illegal. What isn't fine is those people forcing others to inhale their smoke.

Drinking is also unhealthy -- mostly. As pp mentioned, there have been some positive effects associated with moderate consumption of red wine. However, the big difference here is that drinking is not innately unhealthy to those around you. For your average drinker, they are NOT affecting you. It is not the alcohol itself that affects other people, it's the actions of the person consuming it. This is not so with smoking. If you smoke around someone else, their lungs are affected. Period. The manner in which you smoke is not the issue. The issue is merely the fact that you are smoking.

The laws in question are to control smoking in relation to other people, not to "take away people's rights" to smoking. There are many comparable laws in effect for alcohol consumption. I am so glad someone finally mentioned prohibition... thank you for reminding everyone that banning alcohol won't work -- been there, failed that. Same thing for banning smoking. But what is working is enforcing laws to regulate alcohol consumption, and what is also working is enforcing similar laws to regulate smoking. Most states already have these laws.  You can view the details here.

So I don't think that comparing freedom to smoke anywhere is the same as freedom to drink. We don't have the right to drink anywhere we please. It's illegal to drink in schools, cars, many offices, strip clubs, and many other places. Drinking is heavily regulated as it is, and all the people you mentioned are violating laws we have -- the enforcement is a whole different issue. All the negatives you mentioned in association to drinking and affecting other people are things that are already controlled -- just not well enough. It is difficult to babysit 300 million idiots. And we can't. The government is constantly struggling to find that line on where protecting people from each other's stupidity is doable. Most of the U.S. has decided that smoking indoors in public should be prohibited and is doable. As you can tell by reading these boards, most of the people living in these states are in favor of these laws. And as pp have mentioned, you can never please everyone. I live in California and we have strict smoking regulations and I love it. I don't hear smokers complaining about having to go outside, either. Most of the ones that are used to it don't mind it -- and as you can see here even prefer it. One of the main issues with states that haven't enacted these laws yet is really just resistance to change.  

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