Hi, my name is Wynona LaJacques and it’s great to be here today, among so many friends, and I appreciate your warm welcome. As you might imagine, I don’t get invited to many parties in this town. That’s okay. I came to New York City one day last year, but I didn’t come here to be popular. I came here to stand for what I believe is true and to smoke a cigarette while I was at it.
The political elites didn’t like it. In fact, their latest assault on the rights of all us smokers came on Monday when this city’s officials announced that they will be putting through a measure banning the sale of cigarettes to anyone under the age of 21. Already hobbled by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s dictatorial edicts banning smoking in restaurants and bars, lately expanding to parks, beaches, plazas and other public places, my liberties will now be even further curtailed??
Granted, smoking has, on occasion, harmed a couple of people here and there and granted, I’ve been over the age of 21 for a few months now so this new proposal is no skin off my nose, but that’s not the point. It’s the principle of the, ah, thing!
Mr. Bloomberg’s efforts are supported by the liberal media who can keep hating on me, but I’m still standing, unapologetic and unflinching in defense of my individual freedom. They can call me crazy (I’m not, my mother had me tested!) and whatever else they want, but I still stand in the ranks of smokers and will not back down—not now, not ever.
The Declaration of Independence is not just words on parchment. It’s not some frivolous suggestion from our Founding Fathers to be interpreted by whim. It lies at the heart of what this country was founded upon. Our Founding Fathers knew that without a Declaration of Independence, all of our pursuits of happiness and ill health could be in jeopardy.
Our individual liberty is the very essence of America. It is what makes America unique. If you aren’t free to smoke—when the government of New York puts its thumb on that freedom—then you aren’t free at all.
But they insult, denigrate and call me crazy (I’m not, ask my mother!) for holding fast to that belief. In their distorted view of the world, they are smarter than I am. They are special and more worthy than I am. They know better than I do and if I dare disagree, they scorn me, demonize me and try to shut me up. I will not be demonized, I will not be silent. (My mother tried that too, God rest her soul!)
It’s time for a sane look at the insanity that has consumed all too much of the media and the political class in this town. They wag a condemning finger at me. They call me crazy (I’m not, I told you! My mother had me tested!) but no one—no other organization in the world—has spent more money, over more decades, to keep my lungs filled with smoke. I have trained myself in smoking safety, cigarette law enforcement, I’ve trained to be a woman smoker, to teach other smokers about cigarettes, educate other smokers about smoking out prey in the woods, and have turned my head from many a child when blowing smoke.
While cigarette smoking is still out there, my smoke-related illnesses are at an all-time low. Every year, I have made plans to teach millions of law-abiding people how to use, store and kill themselves with cigarettes (but I just haven’t gotten around to that yet).
I have smoked with (a few of) America’s military and law enforcement officers since cigarettes and me have been around. And they call me crazy? (My mother…Oh, never mind!) They say I’m the problem? In December, I advocated nothing more than surrounding our schoolchildren with the same level of cigarette smoke as I enjoy in my home when watching sports on TV—smoke, not vapor! The vast majority of American smokers agree and favor a trained smoking police or security officer puffing away in every school. In a survey of all 50 states, nearly a very high percentage of teachers and administrators said they had a cigarette at one time or another, and that teaching little children all about the benefits of owning and using cigarettes would make their lives safer.
There isn’t a mom or a dad anywhere who wouldn’t feel better seeing a police car with smoke billowing out of its windows in the parking lot when they drop their kids off at school.
But the powerful elites, who will always have their own cigars and cigarettes, called my proposal absurd. You know what’s really absurd? Not teaching our children at school how to smoke.
Thousands of our schools today remain as vulnerable as ever to the evil intentions of a mad health fanatic. The Department of Smokers’ Welfare offers this from its website:
“If you are caught out in the open and cannot conceal yourself or your cigarette, you might consider trying to fan the smoke away with whatever means are available.”
While a narrator speaks, the video shows an office worker pulling an e-cigarette out of a drawer.
E-cigarette? That’s their answer?