Thursday, October 20, 2005

The smoking debate has gone to ludicrous speed

To coin a phrase from "Spaceballs: The Movie," the debate on smoking has "gone to plaid."

In the Voice of the People section of today's Chicago Tribune there were printed a number of letters about the "smoking issue." Most of them were pretty ridiculous, but there was one by Rex Krebs that particularly stood out as being utterly absurd.

If smoking is banned in restaurants, then I sure hope driving vehicles that burn fossil fuels is banned too. Give me a break, non-smokers. Haven't you realized yet that everything everywhere is bad for you? Quit complaining and suck it up like the rest of the real world. (I'm a fellow non-smoker.)

By this logic since everything's going to kill us, why bother using sun screen? Why wear a seat belt? For that matter, why even bother looking both ways before crossing the street? After all, everything everywhere is going to kill you. Personally I'd rather avoid as many things that are going to kill me as possible, including smoking, skin cancer, and being hit by a car, among others.

What I don't understand is you're allowed to drink alcohol just as freely as your allowed to smoke cigarettes. Yet if you force a child to drink alcohol or for that matter even provide a child with alcohol you can be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Yet it's perfectly legal to allow a child to remain in a smoke filled room provided they aren't the one's smoking. Isn't that contributing to the delinquency of a minor?

Why do smokers feel so strongly that they have the right to force their habit on everyone else? I think the next time I'm having a drink and someone lights up I'm going to pour my beer on them. After all, if they believe I appreciate my clothes smelling like cigarette smoke I guess I should believe they'd appreciate their clothes smelling like beer.

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