26 May 2008

Ye gods

What is with these people who want to ban things they don't like? Smokers seem to be the one segment of the population that it's socially acceptable to discriminate against. First smoking in pubs and cafes was banned. Then the warnings on the packets got bigger and bigger and more strident, until they got replaced by graphic images of bits of dead people.

Quite apart from the smell of desperation about putting these images on cigarette packets ('oh no, the warnings aren't working, let's make them really repulsive'), there's a real question of balance here. The decision has been made (note use of passive tense) that the interests of everyone who may see what are deliberately disgusting images (who are not just smokers of course, but could be anyone – including children) are outweighed by the so-called benefits of possibly scaring some people into giving up smoking. Is it just me, or is there something very wrong here?

Of course, once the images came in, people simply and quite rightly covered them up or put their tobacco into a different container. I've seen it seriously suggested that selling covers for cigarette packets should be banned. This is the behaviour of monomaniacs and zealots, the kind of people for whom the ends justify any means. It is a very dangerous mindset.

And so now this Poneke person (who of course is anonymous) wants to ban smoking in busy public places. Why? Because the smokers have all the best spots! It's really laughable. Boo hoo! There's nothing stopping non-smokers from sitting outside in smoking areas. My non-smoking friends do it all the time.

To do this, though, you need to tolerate people who are different from you, not try to legislate them out of existence. But not these anti-smoking bigots. They seem to think their intolerant prejudice should be backed up by law.

I don't like the sight or smell of cooked flesh, but do you see me advocating for a ban on eating meat in public? Of course not. If I choose to go out to a restaurant or bar, I know I'll be exposed to it. I accept that. It's part of living in a civil society.

5 comments:

No. 0003 said...

Ban the smokers from the nice outdoor tables so we can better breathe in the diesel fumes - I get really annoyed when Port Royal masks the aroma of BP diesel matured in a M.A.N omnibus...

artandmylife said...

I HATE the smell of smoke but I take your point about meat eating. Never thought of it like that, although the smell of meat cooking is pretty revolting too. I think the ban on smoking in public places is taking it a bit far

stephen said...

Ban cheap, shitty, cigarettes that smell like dried cack. Then everybody will realise how delicious and tasty good quality tobacco is.

-- stephen, an aesthete to the end

David Cauchi said...

Well, well, there's a bit of comment on the original post but no response from the writer yet though. Nor did they see fit to post a comment here when they visited. Very poor.

Sheridan Fairfield-Wills Dickson said...

it's the paradox that gets me. sell me the tobacco, then use the tax I just paid to try and convince me not to smoke them. huh?

visitors since 29 March 2004.