Smokers or not, we all know that smoking is dangerous, disgusting, and dirty. But what is up with all of these smoking bans? I was a smoker up until 1 week ago, and I believe I was a considerate smoker. When at friends’ homes, I automatically went outside to smoke unless they were smokers. At a bar or restaurant, I always asked the people I was with if they’d mind me smoking, and if they said yes, I didn’t smoke. Sitting outside, I always made sure I was downwind of non-smokers. I have never thrown a butt on the ground, even if that meant I had to carry it around in my pocket until I found a garbage can. But I was still made to feel like some sort of social leper.
Listen, I agree with banning smoking in restaurants – who wants to eat through a thick fug of smoke? But I totally disagree with banning it in bars, at least these city- and state-wide bans. Why can’t each business decide for itself whether to allow smoking, and post a prominent sign on the door to that effect, so that potential customers know whether or not to go there? Would that really be so wrong?
Even in France, which I consider one of the smoking capitals of the world, the cigarette tax was just hiked, and other European countries will be banning smoking in the workplace. Great for the non-smokers, but what about the smokers – who is actually deciding this stuff, and more importantly, why?
As I said, I just quit smoking, and sure I like to go into smoke-free environments. I just feel that the non-smoking lobby or whatever is behind this is being rather selfish. If I choose to pollute my body, and I don’t breathe the smoke in others’ faces, what right do non-smokers have to give me a hard time about it? I just don’t think it’s fair for the government to kowtow to one group at the expense of the other.