Monday, December 13, 2010

WHEN SMOKING IS OUTLAWED, ONLY OUTLAWS WILL SMOKE

An article in today’s NY Times (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/13/the-elusive-smoke-free-home/#more-42267) relates a recent research finding that children in apartments in which no one smokes actually absorb nicotine that drifts in from other apartments.

So here’s another reason why smoking restrictions will steadily tighten. As things are now, you can’t smoke on air flights. Or in most restaurants. Or even in bars in many states. 

Indeed, other recent studies found that rather than asserting a calming effect, cigarettes actually cause longterm stress levels to rise. That’s little wonder, considering the mounting stigma smokers experience. Those who feel the crunch fight back as they can, but the handwriting’s on the wall: healthcare is out to end smoking, period.

It won’t succeed, though, any more than Prohibition did. When smoking is outlawed, only outlaws will smoke. Even when cigarette packs are festooned with the most dire, graphic warnings, as the FDA now plans, smokers who harbor secret and not-so-secret death wishes will enthusiastically puff away.

Smokers are people like anyone else, but caught up in a habit that does no one good but Philip Morris. As they feel the public health screws tighten, they suffer. They’re more apt to examine their behavior in an atmosphere of compassion than condemnation. You want to light up? I love you, but not around me, thanks.

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