Secrets, Lies & Chat

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Ban Ignites Long, Slow Death of the Smoko

I'm always interested to read the next chapter in the ban the cigarette campaign in Australia. Well it's not ban the cigarette, it's ban the cigarette smoker. The smoker, who was sucked into smoking years ago by the then legal advertising that was always in everyone's face, by the portrayal of smoking as being very 'in' on the wide screen, in magazines, newspapers etc., is now the lowest form of polluter on the face of the earth. Or so some would have us believe.

Slowly but surely the rights of the person who is now addicted thanks to all of the above and more, which I might add our Governments all backed and joined in by the members of each party smoking happily away wherever and whenever, have been eroded. Bit by bit the smoker has been forced out of almost everywhere and branded a killer.

Okay so let's assume smoking is bad for us and it would be better if we all gave it up. We would no longer sit at a table in a restaurant chafing at the bit to have a smoke after dinner, we would no longer need to get out of the office every now and then for a fix. We would be happy just doing whatever, whenever, without our trusty pack of ciggies and lighter close by for emergency exits. Those that now whine about the smoker going out of the office for a smoke forget that once upon a not so long time ago, they worked in offices with smokers and rarely did any of them say 'boo'. But then there are many sheep amongst us who jump on the nearest bandwagon so as to be seen finally.

In my humble opinion, if you were hired as a smoker, and your employer knew before they hired you that you were a smoker, then you have justifiable rights to take time out to smoke during the work day. I for one don't take morning or afternoon tea breaks. I don't go to work and cook my breakfast there and then sit and nibble contentedly on that breakfast while I read the morning papers or surf the internet or do my private business work. I have cigarette breaks where it takes me a minute to walk outside and a few minutes to smoke a cigarette. I am then back at my desk and into it. Today's cigarettes burn away very quickly so that we smoke more.

As I get off my soapbox, I paste under here a few words I just sent off to the SMH as a comment re their article this weekend, title above. I don't know about anyone else, but I am so tired of cigarette smoker bashing, and not just because I am a smoker. There are a lot of things bad in this world we live in and perhaps these people would be better off focusing on some of those issues instead of beating the same tired old drum. If the Governments of today are not willing to ban tobacco then leave the poor bloody addicted alone. After all, we are smoking a legal drug, the Government says so. Butt out - find another cause.

SMH Feedback - Saturday 1.4.06
If smoking is as bad for our health as those in the 'know' are constantly portraying, and if the do-gooders who tag along behind so as to be seen to be doing something were fair dinkum, they would all be lobbying for cigarettes and all forms of tobacco to be banned. So let's get real about the issue. We all know why they will never be banned - the cigarette smokers pay a high price to smoke and the Government receives the largest share of the dollar spent. Their greed feeds our habit.

It's a shame the same campaigns aren't mounted against alcohol. I have never heard of a cigarette smoker killing someone in his/her car after a tobacco fix, nor have I ever heard of a man bashing his wife after he has just smoked a few cigarettes, or his children.

Keeping smoking in the limelight as the polluter of the earth gives breathing space to the real polluters. Look up into the sky above you or, even better, go into the city and look out towards the mountains from a tall building. That's what is polluting our city, not cigarette smokers. Look around at the smoke stacks nicely placed amidst our homes and workplaces.

But to be fair, ban tobacco and its products and we will all have more money in our pockets. Then the do gooders will have to find another passion to pursue. In another lifetime perhaps, not this one where what is said is just for show.

Vena McGrath


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