Tag Archives: politics

The New Lepers. Policed Nation

British doctors voted last week to ban cigarettes for anyone born after the year 2000 in Britain. Brilliant! Apparently, this is a first big step in an overall initiative to make Britain FREE of tobacco within the next 20 years. Britain has been able to enforce NO SMOKING in public, and also banning smoking in any automobile carrying a child. The US has cracked down on smokers as well. No smoking in public, no smoking in restaurants or bars, and It is common place in the DC Metro area to see signs that display “no smoking within 50 feet of this building” around town centers, office areas, shopping malls, as well as doctor, dentist offices and movie theaters.
There are many new snappy apartment buildings going up that have a strict no smoking policy. This means if you live there your not even permitted to smoke in your apt, on the roof or anywhere near the building.
Where do the smokers go?
I remember the days of smoking in airplanes, airports, with coffee in restaurants, while at work (and this was great if you worked in a psychiatric hospital), in taxi cabs, even in malls in designated areas.
A friend of mine who is a smoker, told me a story that happened to her recently. She was in a gas station/store buying cigarettes. When she was at the counter, a very robust heavy set woman in line behind her with a handful of hostess snacks, candy bars, and soda blurted out sarcastically to her ” you know smoking those will kill you, you really shouldn’t buy them”.
Now before I tell you how my friend replied, I should tell you she’s a thin well built attractive woman, who takes no prisoners when you start in on her about her smoking. Her doctor, her family, her friends, her clients, are always lecturing her about her smoking and her need to quit. She hates that she smokes. Telling a person who smokes they should not smoke Is like telling a fat person ” hey you really shouldn’t be buying that hostess cupcake it’s going to contribute to your obesity” a fat person knows they are fat, no one needs to tell them “hey you need to loose weight”. My friend looked at the woman and said ” I won’t buy my cigarettes if you dont buy your handful of goodies”. The women was appalled at her, I’m not sure why, clearly they both struggle with an addiction.

The smoker has become the chosen shunned leper. They hide outside in snow and rain to catch that much needed drag at lunch or after a meeting. You will find them outside of restaurants, and court houses, “away from the building” commiserating with other smokers. I get it. No one wants second hand smoke. However, I think it’s getting a bit out of hand. I guess the thought is that if we keep the smokers from smoking everywhere, even outside, maybe they will smoke less and it will decrease the national cancer rates and health problems. What do you suppose is next? Controlling alcohol consumption at bars and restaurants to prevent drunk driving or alcoholism? Or what about having a ban on sugar for anyone 25 lbs or more overweight?
No cookie for you.
Well people that are overweight don’t hurt others you might say? Obesity is yet another national health problem.
Obesity impacts our insurance rates, our medication costs, and many healthcare costs as well.
I’m not bashing obese people or bashing smokers. I just wonder if we are becoming an overly policed nation.
Good for Britain for tackling such a huge health problem. I wonder, do you think that plan would work in the US? That anyone born after 2000 (starting at age 14) was told they “may not smoke” It would be followed?
We as Americans, who love excess to the point of self destruction at times, don’t do well with our personal rights being infringed upon, what do you think?

20140701-225054-82254728.jpg

Advertisements