End Evil

Smoking Rant

A guest rant from Jim Smith

Smoking is assault.

Consider this, if you were enjoying a meal in a nice restaurant and I were sitting next to you and sprayed a clear liquid over my food and some drifted onto your table and food, you'd probably want to know what it was. If I replied, "Oh it's just distilled water with a little arsenic in it, but it hasn't been proven that those concentrations are really dangerous and it does enhance my enjoyment of my meal." How long would it take you to call the management, demand a new meal and request that I be removed? Yet people smoke in food service establishments and proven carcinogens are distributed by the air handling system onto everyone's food. In fact, just today, I was seated in a "non smoking" area with the smoking area only inches away with no physical barrier between us.

Now that hard evidence is in about second-hand smoke, it's time to face the facts about smoking. Smoking around others is assault with a deadly weapon and should be treated as such legally and ethically. Given the evidence we now have about second hand smoke, this would seem to constitute assault with a deadly weapon. In the above instance, should I have defended myself by every legal means?

In the case of children, it is even worse. When someone smokes around children, isn't it child abuse? Because it does not kill them immediately is hardly an excuse. If you were to hit them with a club often enough, I think most people would agree that you are causing long-term damage. The children are helpless because they are usually unaware of the damage being done to their developing bodies and cannot make the adult stop smoking or often even get away from the danger.

At some point, we have to decide that "smoker's rights" stop where our lungs begin. For myself, I will never patronize that establishment again nor any other that permits smoking on site. Perhaps when enough people do this, more food service places will understand that it is bad business and bad health to allow smoking at all. In California, where smoking is not permitted in any food establishment, restaurants report an increase in business. Perhaps our experience will be the same?

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