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NC Fails in Tobacco Control

Well, the US has graded states on tobacco control, and North and South Carolina are among those making big red Fs.

I clicked on it really just to confirm what I already knew. I mean, I've had someone walk by and actually flick their cigarette at Eden at a crowded flea market. (I was pregnant, and he was lucky I couldn't catch him. I was loud though.)

I'm a former smoker and I still believe smoking isn't a "right". Healthy public spaces are a right.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 14th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
I'm an ex-smoker (but still smoke cloves sometimes) and I do feel okay about smoking being a right. Just not a right one can exercise anywhere one pleases. I'm comfortable with there being "smoker-safe" and "smoke free" areas. I do have a problem with non-smokers preaching at smokers, or excluding smokers from events by saying "it's your choice to smoke, so you can choose not to smoke for a few days or you can choose not to attend this event, because smokers are not welcome here, so you have to pretend to be a nonsmoker for the duration of the event". As a former smoker, I know it doesn't work like that for many people. When I was heavily addicted, yeah, I could go a couple days...but I'd then spend those couple days either desperately wishing I could just have ONE so I could stop thinking about it and pay attention to the event, or trying to plan when it WOULD be possible for me to sneak off and have one. If someone's never been addicted to smoking, they don't get it, and it's not fair to make rules for other people based on one's beliefs about something that one totally doesn't get. So I think that non-smokers really need to be more tolerant of smokers. I don't mean "non-smokers need to tolerate having smoke blown at them"...I mean "non-smokers need to tolerate that smokers smoke, and aren't just doing it because it annoys non-smokers and pollutes their environment".
Jan. 14th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
I think it's kind of like alcohol. People can drink alcohol all they want, but they're not allowed to do it on the streets. At the local festivals and stuff, there are alcohol areas or hours. Cigarettes are even more dangerous, because they affect people around them. It's just not fair not to do it responsibly. I felt that way when I was a smoker. I wouldn't smoke around kids and I'd step outside or to a smoking area when I really needed one. I never threw my butts on the ground. I wouldn't even smoke in my own car around non-smokers, although I would if they came into my house. To me, if it's affecting the health of everyone around you, you have to be responsible with it.
Jan. 14th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
I actually perceive alcohol as more dangerous than cigarettes, because if I accidentally breathe in some smoke I might cough a bit but I'll probably be okay, but if I accidentally get too close to someone who's had too much alcohol I might get beat up or run over.

I agree that it's not fair to do it irresponsibly, and I also feel that nonsmokers often act as if they are being oppressed by smokers and that their right to not ever come into contact with cigarette smoke (which I don't feel is a "right", but I can see how someone would reasonably disagree with me about that) always trumps the right of smokers to smoke. I guess maybe if I felt like nonsmokers accurately evaluated the risk which being momentarily exposed to some cigarette smoke caused them, I would feel more compassionate toward nonsmokers on this issue...but generally, I feel like most nonsmokers treat "momentary exposure to cigarette smoke" as equivalent to "you have purposely given me cancer and I will die because of you".

I guess I just don't like when nonsmokers act like they are somehow better people than smokers, and to me that makes me take the complaints of nonsmokers a lot less seriously, just like any other situation where I feel like [group A] acts like it's better than [group B]. ;-)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )