Why Not Ban Smoking
Who Am I
Understand, I am a non-smoker. Providing full disclosure, I have been to a Turkish Restaurant and tried a couple of puffs on a hookah with my son, who does smoke, more on that later. I was a young adult of the sixties, and while I have not smoked pot, I have been in enough smoke-filled parties where pot was passed around, so I am sure I have tried it second hand.
My parents smoked, my wife's parents smoked, My brother smoked, my son smokes, or he vapes e-cigarettes. His addiction is nicotine, and he has found a “healthier” delivery system. I believe that smoking cigarettes led to the early deaths of my Brother and Father, their physicians concur.
With this background, one might think that I would be a vehement supporter for the banning of cigarettes, but nothing could be farther from the truth.
Currently 28% of people in the United States smoke, in the 1950's it was over 50%. That is an enormous drop for the tobacco companies, they lost over 40% of their business in the last half century. If you ban smoking I would estimate that the tobacco companies would see a dramatic increase in sales.
Prohibition does not work. When alcohol was prohibited in the 1920s, business continued, only it was placed into the hands of the underworld, and booze flowed as it had never before. All the notoriety of the FBI cracking down on bootleggers was a laugh. Major cities continued to have clubs that sold booze. Even in the Nation's Capitol lawmakers continued to have lavish parties supplied with liquor. Speakeasies were the new clubs in the twenties, and everyone knew where they were. Criminal activity increased ten fold, and gangsters became the new celebrity du jour. If we learned anything, we should have learned that prohibition does not work.
Government, Lies, and Videos
Our government is already fighting a losing battle in the “War on Drugs”. The debate on marijuana is the best example of citizen unrest on a law that is about as stupid as they come. The government has lied with regards to marijuana being a gateway drug, and misrepresenting pot smokers as ne'er-do-wells. Considering the number who have smoked marijuana, including lawmakers one could wonder, but the truth is the representation is invalid. The irony is that the marijuana plant has a number of additional uses, that don't even relate to smoking and getting high, and these uses have the potential to be economically successful.
Since prohibition would only be the argument of an idiot, what is the answer to tobacco smoking? First have the government tell the real truth about second-hand smoke. Someone walking down the street smoking a cigarette has less effect on other pedestrians than the cars that are driving by. Second-hand smoke is hot air and it rises, and it dissipate in volume as it expands through the air. It doesn't travel as a smoky army seeking out innocent children or others in an attempt to cause harm. By the time it reaches others in the area it is so deluded with other air sources that it borders on being harmless.
Can second-hand smoke be an irritant to others, indeed it can, but what is the real effect and how can we counter it. Closed room smoking is not a good idea for non-smokers, but ventilation, room air purifiers, exhaust fans with filters can improve air quality in apartment buildings, hotels and other multi-dwelling areas to establish environments we can all live with. Private smoking clubs with appropriate ventilation. Prohibit smoking in close quarter public areas, theaters, restaurants and entertainment establishments.
Education, the truth, not spin doctored by some group with an ulterior motive would be nice. Smoking is hazardous to your health, and the hows and whys honestly provided to young people should be taught. If we lie, they will find out and then all credibility is lost when discussing other areas interest.
How do we pay for this, we don't, the people who profit from smoking do. If we are going to allow the development and selling of a product whose primary side effect is death, then they can by golly pay for that privilege.
There is More to Come
As for Marijuana, wake up people, this is an incredible source for tax generating income. Talk about a sin tax that would be profitable for the people. Take Marijuana sales out of the hands of criminals and put it into the hands of the people.
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