Friday, December 09, 2011

Smoke 'Em If They've Got You?

Indianapolis/Marion County's UniGov seems to be well on their way to "getting" smokers (or not: because the GOP is for the current proposal, the Dems are against it. Ooo, principles! They don't got 'em); see, it's a health risk, so what you've gotta do is ban almost all indoor smoking, and force smokers at least 25' from the nearest door, in all weather -- and if you put up a shelter, that's "indoors" and they can't smoke there. --For their own good, you see.

And yours, too, of course. What could be more healthy than a nice dose of pneumonia shared from the smoker at the next desk over, who has to go out in the rain to feed his or her habit?

Look, I don't smoke. The smell of old smoke bothers me and Tam could, if she would, relate tales of me suggesting her "smoking jacket" is due for a wash or point out the long-necked safety-type ash receptacle I have provided on her favorite Porch from which to View; but that's not my point.

Nor will I get on my own non-smoking high horse. I smoked for many years, well over a decade, and through most of them, the first thing I did in the morning on waking up was to light up and the last thing I did before going to sleep was the put out the cigarette I was smoking in bed. Unlike Tam, who can go the better part of a day (or more) before getting smoke-flustered, I was up to a couple of packs a day. It started to annoy me. More and more of things I worked on were sensitive to ash, I didn't like the taste in my mouth (etc., etc), and so, with a great may fits and starts and frustrations, I quit. It took three years. --That was ten years ago and I cannot have even one, even now: if I smoke one, I know I'll finish the pack and go after more; I've done it before. (Nobody told me about this possibility. Eeek! Maybe I quit just in time!)

It's not a good thing for me. I was seriously habituated to smoking. But it oughtn't be illegal; nobody rounds people up and herds them off to smoky bars and nightclubs -- and as for the waitstaff, they lined themselves up to work there. If you don't like smoking, vote with your feet! I do; I won't go eat in a place with ashtrays on the tables and there are plenty of others who do the same, even here in Indiana where a lot of folks (roughly 25% of adults) are still smoking.

Smoking has been on the decline for years. It stopped being cool and it's darned expensive. But that's not enough for our Great Leaders in UniGov. Nope, they wanna grind it out under their heel -- and leave smokers shivering in the snow, like a new-fangled Little Match Girl with a pack of Camels. They tell me it's "compassionate."

Never knew the word was a synonym for "meddlesome."


The Jack said...

May be a repost, connection horked when I logged in
"so what you've gotta do is ban almost all indoor smoking, and force smokes at least 25' from the nearest door, in all weather -- and if you put up a shelter, that's "indoors" and they can't smoke there. --For their own good, you see."

Ah spite. You can tell it's for the greater good because of the petty hate.

You nailed it, their version of compassion is bending people to their whim, and if people don't like it?
Well they can shiver in the snow, until smoking in public is banned of course.

karrde said...

Never touched a cig myself, but have lots of relatives on one side of the family who light up.

What happened to My Body, My Choice?

Oh, that's not for smokers. I get it.

Ed Rasimus said...

Dunno how I avoided cigarettes. My parents were the WW II generation and all of my peers in high school/college were habituated. Did do fine cigars and a bit of the Hefner briar thing, but gave it up about ten years ago.

Today I laugh at my college students and ask them how they got so stupid. Six bucks a pack, reviled by society, serious health issues in their future, and standing out in the wind and rain getting their fix.

But, I would never say it is the job of government to restrict their right to be stupid. I would say it is hypocritical to go through the legislative circle of tobacco subsidy, tobacco taxes, tobacco vilification ads and then draconian tobacco use restrictions.

"A limited government of delegated and reserved powers..." my posterior!

Tam said...

Gratuitous Smuggery: They ban because they can.

People love to call names and feel superior, but since all the old victim classes have been legislated off the menu, they have to go after new targets.

og said...

Indiana smokers pay a buck a pack tax, and then there's federal tax, and then there's yadda yadda. All ona product that costs about 20 cents a pack to make. What's indiana gonna tax to fill that revenue hole when they succeed in stopping everyone from smoking?

Old Grouch said...

"What happened to My Body, My Choice?"

Nonono... you don't understand how "compassion" works. For them it's "My Body, My Choice." For everybody else it's "YOUR Body, MY Choice."

That's why the FDA thinks its OK for 17-year-old girls to buy birth control over the counter, but not cigarettes or beer.

You've gotta understand these things...

Robert Fowler said...

Congrats on quitting. I've been smoking for 40 years and it doesn't look like I'm quitting any time soon.

Iowa has one of the toughest no smoking laws there is. The only place indoors your allowed to smoke is on the casino floor.

The thought of a outdoor shelter for smokers being off limits just defies reason. We have shelters at the VA hospital of all places. Sounds like your local politicians are just a bunch of vindictive haters.
I'll stop before I cross into territory that could be offensive. here's a hint, I know what I would like to place where on said pols. ;)

mikee said...

In Japan the smokers were forced to use the designated "smoking area" in the factories or offices. These were rooms with a vent outdoors. The smokers, in their dozens, crowded the rooms during breaks to smoke, leaving the walls brown with nicotine stains and the carpet impregnated with that lovely used tobacco smell. NO cleaning was done on these rooms, ever, as far as I could tell.

Smokers stopped smoking at work when going into the rooms became unbearably sickening. Now the remaining holdouts still using the rooms smell like a burnt down tobacco barn all day and are even more socially ostracized.

Did it work there? Yes.
Would it work here? Not unless the smoke free environment was enforced with a no tolerance policy of "You're Fired!"

Bob's Grandson said...

Roberta has touched upon a new danger in this post: Third-hand smoke. That's the smell of smoke on someone who was smoking. They haven't had time to gin up the death rate from this. Yet.

Panamared said...

Just wait for Obama-care and see what happens to smokers then.

Drang said...

When I started smoking a pipe I did some research. According to the Sturgeon General, "moderate" pipe and cigar smokers have no statistically significant increase in lung cancer, and such a slight increase in the incidence of oral cancers that it's statistical significance is debatable. ("It's doubled!" "Yeah, from 1% to 2%!")
Which causes me to be extremely skeptical of claims regarding second- or third-hand (!) smoke.

"Moderate" was defined as no more than 5 cigars a day, without inhaling.

A few years ago I went in for oral surgery, stopped smoking my pipe during the healing process, and never really started again; basically went from 4-5 times a week to a couple of times a year.

Here in Washington State they banned indoor smoking, including all clubs, bars, and tobacco stores. Trying to get it reinstated for cigar bars and tobacconists, and MAYBE private clubs. I saw how the "private club" thing worked in Utah for booze--your cover charge was called a one day membership--so maybe...

But it's still gratuitous smuggery, and Nanny-state fascism.

WV: ausse. Where you have to go to smoke.

Anonymous said...

Gonna try not to climb on my hobby-horse but it's already a fact here in the PRUK. Effects? Well 25% still smoke (paying the entire NHS budget in tax), an average of 52 clubs/pubs closing per month (well smokers don't bother going, why bother when you go for social reasons and are forced to stand outside. Then their friends stopped going, can't meet their friends anymore. What about all those non-smokers who were going to start attending? Well, they didn't.). I agree smoke is unpleasant for non-smokers but we aren't even allowed to open a private club. Oh they already admitted here it was never for 'health' reasons and whilst they're lining up to ban it in private cars (seriously) they've already started 'denormalising' alcohol and that other seriously addictive substance - the burger. Good luck - fight them with this or they just keep on taking.

Shane said...

The Government loves the tax revenue generated by tobacco sales, so their motives for setting up anti smoking programs are - at least - questionable. Food for thought as to why the programs don't work.

Cincinnatus said...

Hunting down and persecuting smokers is reaching the kind of ferver only seen among the Inquisition.

Quizikle said...

It's getting to the point where it's "not appropriate" to even "fake" smoking. Try pulling out a pipe someplace without a load...

It's not the smoking; it's the "we said so".