Monday, June 15, 2009

51% Say More Government Regulation Likely To Help Reduce Smoking

51% Say More Government Regulation Likely To Help Reduce Smoking
Fifty-one percent (51%) of Americans say more government regulation of tobacco is
at least somewhat likely to reduce the number of smokers in this country. That
figure includes 18% who say it is very likely to do so.

I'm not exactly sure how more government regulation is going to reduce the number of smokers in this country. As a result, I have mixed feelings about this. I feel that people should be free to do what they want, as long as they aren't hurting anyone. The problem with smoking is that it does hurt others, and maybe even more than the smoker—second hand smoking can be worse than first hand smoke when inhaled in copious amounts. They say that two hours of inhaling second hand smoke is the equivalent to smoking four cigarettes. I don't know how true this is, but I find it hard not to believe it.

I've never smoked, but have always had bad allergies. The smoking bothers me, probably more than the average person. I'm easily irritated when being around smokers, in the smallest amounts of time. Walking by a building where someone is standing by and lighting up can quickly flare an allergy attack. Headache, itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and fatigue are all the symptoms. I've been around smokers all of my life and the longer I am exposed to it, the worse my health is. I recently lived in a second floor apartment, above two smokers on the first floor. I'd go out during the day, come home at night and the apartment smelled like a barroom. It literally smelled as if my neighbors were smoking in my apartment. After fifteen months of living there, I couldn't take it any longer. I have since found another place to live and my health is noticeably better, but I still feel as if I've developed a case of mild asthma.

Several states have taken some “regulatory” measures regarding smoking such as banning smoking in public places, restaurants, public buildings, etc. I stand by these measures. People should be allowed to enjoy a meal in peace without being aggravated by cigarette smoke. And before someone says there's smoking and non smoking sections—that's bullshit. The smoke is everywhere. Now some might argue that smokers should be able to enjoy a meal and light up as well. Well if they want to do that, then I guess they should eat at home. Though, I fail to see how one can eat and puff it up at the same time. Even the smoking outside of public buildings is aggravating to those with allergies, and asthma who are innocently walking by.

I'm not sure what further regulations the government has in store for cigarette smoke. I know some wish that cigarettes were banned altogether. Sometimes I think that's a good idea, but I know I am biased. I also know that prohibition won't solve the problem. Marijuana is illegal, but that doesn't stop people from smoking it. Alcohol was illegal at one time, but that didn't stop people from drinking it. In a perfect world, these smokers would have the courtesy to smoke with each other, or alone, for that matter, and away from others who are easily irritated by their cigarette smoke. And in that perfect world, people would understand the harmful effects of smoking and wouldn't smoke at all. But alas, this is not a perfect world.

1 comment:

Harrison said...

If getting cancer isn't enough incentive I don't know what is.