Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our "Newspaper:" Smoking = Mass Murder

Yes, they said it. On the "conversations" page, which used to be Editorials. I guess the purple is not so bright a hue under the other label?

They headlined it "Snuff out smoking in public," even though they are not -- at this time -- calling for the snuffing of smokers themselves. (At least not 'til the scrubbers are fitted on the crematoria smokestacks). Under it, breathless bullet-points float unsupported by hard data: "Smoking bans do not hurt the bar and restaurant business," and, "Secondhand smoke is not merely an annoyance, but a killer on a mass scale."

Yowza. Y'know, I find the aroma of cigarette smoke distasteful. Oh, a faint whiff of the fresh stuff isn't so bad; I grew up with smokers and smoked myself for a long time. But more than that, especially if it even a little stale? Yuck! But calling for a total ban in workplaces and "enclosed public spaces," as the Star does, is nothing but nannying, for-your-own-good interference with individual rights, exactly the same as Temperance or drug prohibition, without even the thin excuse that users are an immediate, unavoidable danger to others.

Dear Indy Star: The Government is not your Mommy -- or anyone else's, either. If you don't like the smoke, avoid it.


Stranger said...

Typical media. Demonize everything you disapprove of, or do not understand.


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

The Gannett Star hates the free market and the businessman -- small, medium, large, and economy sized.

If it didn't, it wouldn't print stupidity like that.

I'm tempted to stop my subscription and start taking the IBJ instead.

og said...

There have been ventilation systems capable of removing particulate far finer than cigarrette smoke, some of which is lethally toxic, for ages. These systems are used in chemical laboratories and in drug manufacturing. they are not that expensive.

Why nobody suggests that these systems be installed is very telling: We don't give a shit about actually protecting other people, we just aim to stop you from enjoying yourself.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Thing is, just doing 100% air change with outside air a few times an hour would solve most of the problem. It would cost more to heat and cool, but it would probably also eliminate other causes of so-called "sick building syndrome" that arise just because buildings are so tight these days.

Drang said...

And the scientific evidence of a health hazard from second-hand smoke continues to elude us.

Even as shrill cries of the dangers of third-hand smoke start to be heard.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

By the way, I have to admit I sort of misread that post title the first time through. I thought you'd written

"Our 'Newspaper' = Smoking Mass Murder"

The location of that "=" is pretty important, I guess :)

Robin said...

Drang, the evidence of the danger of second hand smoke does not elude us - its been happily fabricated.

Now, I'm not saying that second hand smoke is completely harmless. However, the studies that were the foundation for the claims showed an increased likelihood of harm from exposure to second hand smoke that was statistically meaningless by the standards of medical science to date.

So they changed the standards.

No one is going to be harmed by the amount of second hand smoke you are exposed to in an open public area.