Thursday, August 23, 2007

Smoke 'em if You Got 'em (But Seriously, You Should Quit)

In the news a while back was a story how Massachusetts might join other states in legislating a ban against smoking in private vehicles – specifically vehicles that have car seat age children riding in them. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Those little lungs need cleaner air, and I’m all for that.

So, why did this information give me a strange creepy feeling?

I’m not a smoker. I did smoke when I was in my late teens and early twenties, luckily I stopped. I don’t like being around smoke, it gives me more than a strange creepy feeling, it makes me sick. And I know children fare much worse when exposed to second hand smoke.

But this idea of government coming that much closer to controlling our actions – is extremely unsettling to me. Strange, I didn’t mind the seatbelt law, it made sense. And obviously cutting down kids’ exposure to nasty smoke makes lots and lots of sense – yet I wonder if we’re that much closer to the fictional world inhabited by the likes of Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, and Sylvester Stallone, (1993’s Demolition Man) where we’ll start getting demerits for cursing.

I’m not a Libertarian, I’m not much of anything – I tend to vote candidate rather than party. But I feel queasy at the idea of closer and closer surveillance into what we think is our personal lives
Go ahead and laugh right now, for here comes my naiveté – Why can’t cigarettes themselves be outlawed?

I am serious.

They serve no good purpose, none. Other vices have either some merit, or are less harmful. Alcohol, gambling, pot, even prostitution could be argued to allowable or legalized in certain circumstances. Firearms too, well – they can be used for target practice – right?

But why are smokes still legal? Why does our federal legislature continue to cave to the unholy tobacco lobbyists?

Anyway, questions to ponder, yes?

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