Anti-smoking lobbyist: What a bunch of Ash-holes

By A.B. Thomas

There I sat on the park bench having a cigarette after a rousing game of tennis -well two well bosomy endowed women had been playing tennis, I had been engaged in a game of pocket pool – when a woman sat down next to me.  I nodded and said, “afternoon”, which she harrumphed at, ignoring my attempt to be friendly.  I took another drag from my cigarette, blowing the smoke away from my new tennis observing compatriot. Nevertheless, She shot me a dark look.

“Do you mind,” she snarled.

I asked about what to which she responded by pointing sharply at the cigarette between my fingers on the opposite side of where she sat.

“Nope,” I answered.

“Well, I do,” she said huffily, “And you should extinguish that foul thing.”

I thought that perhaps I had mistaken my surroundings, so I took a gander around.  I was not imagining things: the park was empty with the exception of the tennis players and the occasional walker. All along the path there were empty benches and vacant picnic tables. I had not seen a plaque on the bench when I first sat down stating that it was privately owned and maintained. The wind was blowing the smoke away, not towards her, so the aroma would not be her tickling her nose though the gallons of cheap perfume she must of bathed in was certainly assaulting mine. Given the information that I had gathered, I responded in the appropriate manner:

“Go fuck yourself – if you don’t like it, move your ass elsewhere.”

I did not say in whose estimation of appropriateness. From the expression on the woman’s face, this was not response the woman was expecting.

“I did not come to this park to breath in your poison,” she stated. I told her that much the same could be said about the bear repellent she was doused in.

“I do not appreciate my right of being healthy being endangered by someone the likes of you. Do you realize that you could kill me with your second-hand smoke?”

I looked at her for a brief moment, and then blew a smoke ring in her face.  She coughed and waved her hands wildly to disperse the oval.

“That’s just rude!” She exclaimed.

“That’s rude? You said that it’d kill you, yet you’re still breathing,” I retorted, “Just hurry up and die, will ya?”

I’m sure that the clucks that she made afterward were meant to be insulting or menacing, but I had already turned the woman out.  Without any further response from me, the woman rose from the bench and haughtily stomped off – to an empty bench where she continued to stare at me with utter disgust.

At first I was irritated; the park had more than ample empty seating in its area.  Surely if cigarettes were that offensive to the woman, she should have chosen alternate seating in the first place.  Then it dawned on me, and I became bemused: she was a pissant brown shirt of the anti-smoking fourth Reich. Her goal had been to intimidate; having failed to do so, she was left no other options – much like the organized anti-smoking lobbies – but to pout and decry sorrowfully that they are only valiantly attempting to be the matriarchs and patriarchs cutting the costs on the health care system. What the anti-smoking lobby and the associated peons are, however, are wanna-be aristocracy believing they are the architects of social construction under the delusion that they serve as the Utopian role model for the betterment of all citizens of civilization. How noble, how downright saintly…how hypocritical, these ash holes truly are.

To put to rest any misappropriation of context that the term “Fourth Reich” may create, it is not a minimalization of the events that occurred against European and African peoples by the Nazis by akinning the current pressure being applied to those who smoke today.  It is the paralleling of tactics employed where the term is ruminating within to out. Step one; find a patsy.  Step two; propaganda.  Step three; create an event. Step four; legislate constrictive conditions to the target group so that the general public accepts that the action is necessary for the good of society, and then introduce measures to eradicate that group. Step one, obviously has been to target smokers as the root of all societal behaviour by the anti smoking lobbyists.

Step two

On Canadian cigarette packages, it is mandatory for the tobacco companies to place “information” to b displayed on almost have of one side.  An example of this packaging would be one that has a bar graph with the following information:

“Estimated Deaths in Canada, 1996

Murders -510

Alcohol – 1,900

Car accidents 2,900

Suicides – 3,900

Tobacco-46,000”

The source is identified as Health Canada, which in defining the 46,000 deaths caused by cigarettes as “While the adverse health effects and the health risks of tobacco use are well established, data collection has focused on certain medical conditions, notably lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Other illnesses that are known to be associated with smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke, such as asthma and middle ear infections, require more refinement in data collection” – through the pooling of the medical conditions without providing the information that it is opinion that the related (though not directly linked, cardiovascular diseases, for instance, can be caused by numerous factors) the numbers are intentionally deceptive in order to create alarm.  It is not exclusive to the anti-smoking lobby, Bush Jr. used the same strategy for the invasion of Iraq by proclaiming Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction”, but the results are the same: forward their agenda whilst increasing funding by changing their ‘wish list’ to a national ‘necessity’.

Step three

The anti smoking lobby has taken two routes an event to mobilize their shock troops to action: health care costs and, surprise, surprise, children. Smoking is unhealthy, and ultimately a burden on the health system – but it has to be noted that the very act of existing results in being a burden to the health system, whether the person wishes to be a burden or not. Sexually transmitted diseases, genetic flaws, unmannerly sexual behaviours, drinking, driving, breathing, living in a denser populated area, working in certain fields, too little sun, too much sun, tainted water, tainted food, food allergies, high bad cholesterol food choices, too much fibre, too much fibre, eating disorders, mental condition, balance, coordination, all are factors on the health care system – and the largest burden on the health care system?

Doctors will hook a person up to machine after machine to prolong that person’s life, they will inject drugs, chemicals, electricity, artificial organs or transplant organs in order to elongate the path that one takes to death’s door –and with examples of several cancer patients in recent years, will do so against the will of the person – could it not be said that the most burdensome lade of the health care system is the medical community’s belief that they are the hands of fate? The anti-smoking lobby, whether it be intentional or incidental social conditioning, are using the delusions of grandeur in the medical disciplines in order to affect others that do not share the same belief system as they do.

Anti smoking lobbyists bedazzle the mainstream media with their astounding tricks of the children jumping through the fiery hoop of second hand smoke; create ohs and ahs with the standing on a ball whilst juggling kittens of adult behaviour modelling.  Second hand smoke is a concern, as is modeling behaviour, however, by pointing at smoking as the Great Satan, the anti smoking lobby has no standing by having blinders on to the other factors that have affect on the health of children. If there were any true concern, these lobbyists would be funding events that would engage children in activities that show why smoking is bad, for example, track meets and other physical events that would encourage healthy lifestyle choices rather than attempting to guilt-trip adults.  It is a cowardly action to hold up a child as a body shield rather than let the snipers have a clear shot at their target. No legislator, or Joe or Jane citizen wants to stand up and say, “look, you’re being quite ridiculous” lest be painted with the label as someone who advocates the abuse of children, which the anti smoking lobbyists prefer as the message of their advertisements to be.

Step four

In Alberta the first legislative measure was to enact a minimum age to purchase tobacco products.  This is an acceptable piece of legislation, though age does not necessarily define maturity.  The second phase in Alberta was to legislate separate smoking areas in all public buildings and places where children could be at (example: a restaurant).  Businesses complied, spending money on renovating their places so that there was separate ventilation in the smoking areas as opposed to the family orientated areas. It cost each business hundreds to thousands of dollars for their renovations.  Two years later, the anti-smoking lobby would once again have the ear of the government who would then ban smoking from all public buildings and businesses out right.  Businesses that had just spend capital on becoming compliant with government regulations were now expected to eat those costs. In the spring of this year, the anti-smoking lobby is not pushing for legislation to ban smoking from all public park areas, citing smoking should be banned wherever there is a possibility of a child could be influenced by the modeling of adults.

Some provinces, such as Newfoundland, have legislated bans on smoking in vehicles that have children in them. In Alberta, truckers are not allowed to smoke in their trucks, even those with sleeper cabs, as they are classified as a workplace. While personally I agree with not smoking in a vehicle with a child on board, I don’t smoke in the house but no matter the weather have my cigarette outside, how much of a stretch will be for the anti-smoking lobby to legislate a ban on smoking within family dwellings? It would be a much harder sell for those who own their own homes, but already there are ads from anti smoking groups to rental management companies to make their buildings smoke free and adding rental incentives to those who do not smoke. ASH, a anti smoking group in Western Canada, has gone as far as to form their own home insurance company geared to give non-smokers breaks on insurance costs.

Why are the anti smoking lobby groups taking the legislative route over the educational route? The smoke Gobels of Alberta, Les Hagen has stated that “people are law abiding…they do not want to break the laws”. In lieu of allowing the public to make informed decisions, the anti smoking lobby don’t feel that the public has the competency to understand what THEY do, therefore must be forced to accept what has been decided is best for them. The question that the actions of the anti smoking lobby raise for me is this: Why are they spending so much time on squashing individual choices? The answer is that cigarettes, whether the groups like it or not, are legal and there does not seem to be  any real push tobacco as a controlled substance by even the illustrious Health Canada. It further raises the question that since alcohol has reins upon it, why has there not been an allowance for the same for cigarette consumption?  Why do all businesses, specifically the bars where no one 18 is supposed to be in, have to be non-smoking? Why not have smoking bars and non smoking bars, where patrons have a choice?  If it is an indication of why there has not been this allowance, it would be in the example of Bingos in Calgary.  Bingos were given longer to comply to the total ban on smoking, to which club owners cried foul as their profits fell as the Bingo’s did not.  Perhaps it is time to push for a smoking bar, just to see what the reasons the anti smoking lobby would give for not allowing the behaviour to be done in the same manner as alcohol ideally is – done by adults in an adult only setting.

If the anti-smoking lobby truly wishes to be seen as being the moral compass for the public and private health systems then it ethically must pursue a multi-linear path of legislative hooglanism:

i) The banning, or limiting access to, restaurants, particularly ones classified as “fast food”,

ii) Rationing out food purchases at grocery stores based on family unit demographics.  It would go without saying that there would be a ban on the production of anything with the commonest of allergies: peanuts, shellfish, yeast and milk,

iii) The banning of alcohol consumption (Sound familiar America? How effective was that?),

iv)  The eradication of sex without first signing out –in triplicate- the government copulation license that would have to be pushed through on a federal level to create a national data-base on STD, fertility cycles, there would have to be legislative ‘acceptable’ homosexual, bisexual and heterosexual couplings – which would have to include a racial and cultural committee on a reasonable ratio for these types of pairings,  sperm count, a full physical to determine if there may be the awkwardness of pre-mature ejaculation, whether vaginal secretions are at a ‘safe’ level for activity, which then would have to be sub-divided into oral,  and/or  vaginal penetration with each having an age percentage tied to the okaying or denying of the single act of fornication, because of the time variables with each male ejaculation, it elongates the allotted time therefore causing the price of said license to appreciate in value,

v)  A 0% emissions policy – which would mean the immediate shutdown of most all production plants, the immediate cessation of air, motorboat, train, and personal vehicular transport. It would also entail the disposal of most plastics and other products that could be considered cancerous or potentially dangerous those are currently in use today.

vi)  There are concerns with power lines, the radio wave transmissions and other electronic devices, thus there would have to be an immediate shut down of all electronic devices not excluding computers, cell phones, televisions and radios.

vii) The forced plugging of all urinary and fecal elimination orifices, mouths and nasal passages and skin pores to avoid any accidental release of airborne diseases that may lead to the use of the health care system.

viii) The final bill would be for the execution of anyone in the medical professional: you can’t cost a system any money if there is no one serving in that particular field of study.

The anti-smoking lobby will not be pushing for any of these routes to be taken in the legislative vein – without media, the lobby cannot garner more funding to pad the pockets of those whose pockets get greased. No, the anti-smoking lobby cannot be congruent with the “health issue” because the answers would place negative consequences upon the anti-smoking lobby’s lifestyle, which is unacceptable.  What a bunch of ash holes.

17 Comments on “Anti-smoking lobbyist: What a bunch of Ash-holes”

  1. you are just too smart for your own good … anti-smoking is popular for any number of reasons, but the idea of power and imposing “your will” on someone else is certainly part of the equation …. that woman needed to find a hungry person and feed them, or an abused child and protected them ,, she should have put her efforts to something more challenging than to bother a voyeur who was just taking a moment, alone, to enjoy a sports event in an empty park … a park his taxes pay to maintain … I need a list of all the things that “society” doesn’t want me to be able to decide on myself and a way to end my life after considering their perfect life .. “Let he/her without cheap perfume, cast the first stank”

  2. Back when I was a kid, I was subjected to masses of second-hand smoke from my dad and uncles. My dad died of emphysema, and an uncle of lung cancer – courtesy smoking. Certainly, this isn’t a viewpoint I can support.

  3. @ Bill, firstly, it is horrible for the losses you have had that are attributed to smoking. Secondily, smoking is an unhealthy habit, but that is not the issue – whether imposing values upon others is. The longer that we continue on becoming ‘civilized’ as a global society, the harder small factions of people who believe they know better than the general public, who obviously are infantile, are attempting to enforce their wills. I chose smoking because, quite frankly, it is one of the most overt. It bothers me how these lobbyist decry the violation of their ‘rights’ as non smokers whilst pontificating that smoking is a privilege. Of course smoking is a privilege, but so is not smoking. It is this mind set that isolates all the other factors in a person’s life to point the blame at something that irritates me. We do not live in a pristine ecosystem, we haven’t for centuries, the pollutants we inhale on a constant basis, the price of human ‘evolution’, play a heavy role in the general overall health of the society. Do Indian death statistics include the category “death due to the Ganges”? The toxicity of the Ganges River must play a role in the morbidity rates, but there is no choice in the matter, other than an expensive, long and politically charged action to reclaim the river to a lesser pollution –addled state. Smoking is a choice, some may say its an addiction but even then it is still a person’s will to smoke that makes it so. Legislating personal habits is both a waste of time and money, if the goal is to make people realize they have a bad habit, you have to convince them of that.

    @Rich – thanks! I don’t know what it is about those perfumes – I’ve had to clean up a lot of excrement, both animal and human; I’ve been around rotting carcasses (especially this week – at the shop we have a tower attached, as it used to be a concrete mixing plant, though the tower is supposed to be inaccessible, graffetti artists still manage to climb up it, the result being that some of the windows have been broken for a few years. We [as in the owner of the building, personally the idea of shimmeying up two stories where the steps had been removed to get to the first landing with stairs is not an activity that I would consider as fun] decided that the busted windows should be replaced, so I went up there and I couldn’t see the floor for the pigeon poop and in various stages of decomposition of pigeons that covered it) without batting an eyelash. I try to go into a nightclub and three seconds later, I’m out the door attempting to keep down a mouthful of bile from the stench of chemicals that the people, both men and women, are drenched in (I also usually have tears in my eyes too, but that’s more for when the waitress informs me a beer will cost me $7). You would think that these folks would think, “Hmmm, there are warnings in hospitals that heavy perfumes are not permitted, maybe I should just dab instead, if it’s such a health risk to hospital patients” but nope. I don’t understand why people feel the need to artificialize themselves more than they already do; there is nothing wrong with the natural scents that people give off – with the exception of me when I have had a really good night of tequila and chilli dogs.

  4. The problem I have with smoking is that it affects innocent bystanders, and is also an emission of choice. This is not true of anything else I can think of; certainly even vehicle exhausts aren’t meant to be polluting.Smoking equals chemical warfare in my estimation.

  5. I would have to humbly disagree with the statement that the pollution from vehicles is not a choice. Do I have to drive an hour and a half to the mountains? Do I have to drive an hour to get to my beloved badlands? Do I have to drive six hours to enter the northern bush? No. I do so because I want to. Do people need cars? No, but they are an indication of status and give the ability to reach places in a ridiculously faster time than the traditional horse or walking. Planes, ships, cars, trucks, bobcats, graders, all of these things are based on the basic human element of greed and impatience. It would seem highly improbable that when the first engine was crafted, then started creating a dense cloud of black smoke, that person went, “Well, damn, look at all this pollution – I cannot in good conscious allow these invention to be mass produced”, it is more likely that person rushed to the patent office with dollar signs in their eyes on all the profit and applications the engine would bring them. People would argue that it is unreasonable not to expect people to fly, drive, what have you because it is not a community based economy but a global one. How did it become so? Have motor, will travel. Pollution is a byproduct of humanity’s self interest, which will not change unless everyone on the entire planet decides that they are, in fact, content and satisfied exactly where they are. Until that point, we, and our motorized contraptions will continue to haze the skies.

  6. See, what I meant was that vehicle exhausts are a by product of the primary use of vehicles, ie locomotion. The only raison d’etre of cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes and hookahs is the production of poisonous smoke. Nothing more.

  7. I see your point, but I still think that both ideas of smoking and locomotion are based on self serving principles. I should also point out that tobbacco was used and still used today in the Native Canadian and American cultures as tokens of respect. On the flipside of that, in the penal system, cigarettes are like dollar bills. I think this is one of those issues, much like your great article on circumcision, where the opinion is based on a polarized personal point of view.

  8. I think the anti-smoking campaign is nothing more than an experiment in seeing how far the media can shape public thinking to accept what had once been a popular habit. With a lack of anything better to do, i was idly pushing through the television channels the other night, and stumbled across Andy Griffith smoking a cigarette! Now, can you imagine Andy Griffith as a villain? Yet, by today’s politically correct standards, he would be.

    If they managed to eliminate tobacco completely from public use and criminalize its production, they would then find something else to harp about. You can bet it won’t be such things as lung rot from mining dust, vehicle and/or industrial emissions, or corporate foods. I’m placing my bets it will be coffee, although the rumor that’s going around is the next big campaign will be against soda pop. Ah, the things they will do to save the kids as long as it doesn’t mean sacrificing anything convenient for their own life styles.

  9. Personally I have a problem with second hand smoke, mostly because it causes migraines for me. But then so does shitty overdoses of crappy perfume. Do you think anyone is going to prohibit that? Not a chance.

    It is particularly easy to deal with second hand smoke though, one simply moves away. I find it ridiculous that someone would willingly chose to sit in an area that causes them discomfort.

    In Sacramento California a few years ago a person was effectively sued for smoking in their own backyard. It was against their rental lease to smoke inside so they responsibly smoked out back. Their Ash-hole neighbors sued them and won. Although I am not a smoker this infringement on individual rights is deeply troubling to me. As your article points out where does it stop after that?

    I have to disagree with Bill. Smoke is a by-product of tobacco just the same as vehicular emissions are a byproduct of driving. I don’t see where they are worse and in fact petroleum emissions are worse for the environment and the body than tobacco smoke.

    If you don’t like it, move away from it, especially as all our smoking brethren and sisters have moved outside.

  10. Funny. My grandparents split up when I was young. My grandmother didn’t smoke my grandfather took up smoking. 30 years later my grandmother died of cancer and my grandfather is still kicking, still working in the woods putting young men to shame, smokes almost 3 packs a day and always has.

    They lived apart never under the same roof.

    These anti-smokers are something else. They use children but say nuthing about the gallons of pollution from cars they intake every minute of every day. A walk to the park for a child in a city is worse then that kid smoking half a pack in a minute.
    I don’t drive. I don’t weight 300 pounds and so lazy I have to send pollution into the air for everyone else to breath.

    But god forbid I have a smoke? If I can’t smoke then people can’t drive gas polluting cars. So for all the lobbyists and anti-smoking groups:

    If your gonna use children and health as a weapon you should make sure you know how to wield it.

    Fight against the kids breathing in exhaust fumes and everything else like it kids breath and not just smokes and you might have a shred of dignity to have anything you say hold something besides ignorant, hypocritical nonsense meant to make cowards rich and us to pay out the ass for the pleasure of having a smoke. You know for those of us who enjoy it….and could care less what you think about it.

    Really… get a life.

  11. Like think about it. And visualize….. Your standing at a busstop, cars, taxies and buses are wizzing by and all the smokes from them hovering above the pavement..one car plowign into another’s exhaust.. and a guy standing next to you turns to you and says: “Can you put out your smoke, it’s not healthy for me.”

    ((Stop the moment))

    Now who is the most retarded and stupid person on the planet at this moment?

    Well thats you… the non-smoker/wanna-be-hero!

    So wanna-be-hero/nonsmoker, you have two choices from this moment on.

    a)You can get the government to take all the cars off the road in order for my second hand smoke to begin to affect you and you would even have the right to say that….

    or

    b)Just shut the fuck up. My smoking is the least of your problems, took alook around recently?

    It just doesn’t make sense. Clean up the air… and I’ll stop smoking. Otherwise… your a nazi, end of story, find a new hobby.

  12. these smoker’s protests are way too loud, inflammatory, verbose, and one-sided. tobacco should definitely be controlled – illegal. it is the only product i can think of that, when used as designed, produces absolutely no benefits, and kills the user. it is absolutely ridiculous and totally indefensible. you absolutely have the right to jump off a bridge, or smoke, but a reasonable litmus test would be to ask any smoker “would you encourage your children to smoke?” the answer is obvious. tobacco must go. and by the way, the use of the word ‘fuck’ and your ad hominem approach to rebuttal makes you sound poorly educated, narrow-minded, desperate, cornered, and petty, which diminishes the impact of your argument. you sound like a child having a tantrum and are about as convincing.

  13. I am a non-smoker from a line of smokers. I’ve seen many people I care about die from smoking. I am personally against anything that causes people to act like jerks, and I found that many smokers act like jerks because they believe they have the “right” to smoke. As Paul pointed out, the way you handled the situation could’ve been done more appropriately. You talk about how rude she was, yet expect accolade for the way you treated her and her cheap perfume (I totally agree on the perfume thing though.) Yes, she obviously had the choice to go to another seat, but instead of pointing this out, you simply acted like a jerk. Your argument, that you so carefully thought out to write, could’ve done some good on her. Maybe next time she’d think twice about confronting someone and let people who know what they’re doing do it.

    Secondly, smokers love to bring out that the Native Americans smoke and people have been for years. The primary issue with cigarettes are the nasty additives that are poisoning people and the atmosphere. So the cigarette industry should be attacked. If tobacco was natural as it once was, it might not cause as many health problems.

    And third, smokers just don’t get how nasty it is for non-smokers. You want us to see your side? I do. You’re addicted, you love the way you feel when you light up. It relaxes you. Hell, maybe it even provides an outlet to rebel. But try to look at our side as well. Like that nasty perfume, it stinks. And not just a little. I can smell a smoker from across the room. If you have a pet, it clings to their coat, and heaven forbid you pet them- the tar transfers onto them like it does your yellow coated fingertips. Smoking destroys your nasal passages (medically proven) so you don’t smell it. You even think people are stupid enough to not know you were smoking when you enter a room.

    I’m simply trying to say this- before getting all huffy, try speaking to her intelligently. And before blaming everyone but yourself, try to take a look at both sides.

  14. Oh, and for those trying to equate car emissions to tobacco emissions. You guys are the ones that need to get a life.

    Haven’t you noticed that there are lobbyists trying to get hybrid cars passed? They are clean and it would help clean up the atmosphere. You are not the only ones being attacked. Quit being idiots and pay attention to the bigger picture– you need to clean up one thing at a time. And they are trying with many things, not just smoking. So quit being all “you’re a nazi” (which is an extreme insult that does not fit this topic at all, and just proved you’re spouting things you have no understanding of) and start paying attention to the other lobbying happening as well. Oh, and for every non-smoking lobbyist, there is a lobbyist for the tobacco company as well. So don’t worry, your interests are being promoted as well.

  15. I take notices of what doctors say but as far as lobbyists they are just a bunch of screwed up loons taking revenge on the tobacco industry, if people want to smoke instead of ending up a 90 year old fart in an old peoples home let them.

  16. I riddle you this now because obviously this is a on going debate now I am a smoker and in my opinion. Anti smokers have a right to the opinion and me personally have a right to say this second hand smoke only takes effect over a long time never has a person breathed in smoke once and got cancer . Now I’ve seen a few instances where people take the piss with there anti smoking I have been in nightclubs in designated smoking areas purely designed for that reason only to have a fellow customer critize me for smoking and tell me the health risks yes most of us understand that not everyone is a smoker but I personally hate those who tell me stop without the right or going out there way to give me a lecture that’s called overstepping boundaries and another thing would you turn around and have a go at someone for eating fatty foods without knowing them or drinking or even any lifestyle choice no I doubt it so what gives you the right! Nothing does not stories or your life experiences because I don’t share them it goes with any single choice.

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