Can We Regulate Smoking?

by blackspanielgallery

Long before regulations for the pandemic there has been a health issue with smoking, and since we all breathe the air it is imperative to some of us to not have it pose a danger.

It is just about impossible to make a case that defends smoking for most, and even harder for me. I have had to deal with second-hand smoke, and I know well the consequences. When I was a child, I had asthma that recurred frequently. Part of the problem was smoke from old steam engines that passed just a short distance from where I lived. Also, the ships that would sail up the Mississippi River were just past the trains, and they would belch black smoke as they went. But possibly the real culprit was smoke indoors. I lived with a smoker who went through three packs of cigarettes a day.

Is There Evidence?

I have heard smokers say that it has not been proven that second-hand smoke causes problems.  This is convenient self-justification.  To anyone allergic to smoke there is a real problem.  If it is illegal to randomly punch people in the nose, it should be illegal to make a cloud of toxin that can envelop them. 

 

I have heard the expression smokers also have rights.  Smokers are not impacted by my need for clean air, but I am impacted by the smoke they produce.  One has a right to play music, but if it disturbs the peacefulness of a place the rights of those not wishing to have loud music supersedes the right to blast a large amplifier in a neighborhood.

Our Environment

I have often reflected on the number of cigarettes burned per day worldwide.  If we are working against global warming, how can we ignore the cumulative effects?  Oh, one cigarette does not produce much pollution.  But added together the amount is enormous.

 

I will liken this to the response to ozone depletion.  People use propellants in spray cans of hairspray, deodorant, and other items.  When the propellants were shown to destroy ozone, the response was to eliminate them, replacing them with other propellants.  As a result, the ozone layer is improving.  This would not have happened if we had taken the position a person would use very little of the contents of a spray can per day.  Little amounts can add to enormous quantities.

Clean Air Is Important

Smokers Can also Harm Themselves

My father died of emphysema.  When I visited him in a hospital, I found him on oxygen.  He proudly told me he had quit smoking.  I asked how long ago had he quit, and he counted on this fingers to three, then said three days ago.  I then asked how long had he been in the hospital using oxygen, and again he counted to three.  The fact is he only temporarily quit smoking.

 

Last year one of my younger sisters was given a week to live.  She had smoked when she was younger.  COPD had her lungs at seven percent.  Well, she lived a few months, but died just shout of her seventy-first birthday.  Her last months were connected to oxygen, and she was confined to a house. 

Why Is It so Difficult to Regulate Smoking?

First, too many people are addicted to smoking, and stopping is not an option for them.  We have all been warned and probably they should have heeded the warnings as many of us did, but so many did not.  Now they must be dealt with.  We must find a way to be considerate, but not at the expense of our health nor the health of the environment.

 

Second, there is a strong lobby which works with a high budget to promote smoking to politicians.  They defend the cigarette industry, but also the tobacco farmers, who make up a large part of the income in certain states. 

Conclusion

If one thinks "I can quit smoking and all will be well," think again.  And if one does not believe it impacts others it is not so, and not just because we do not like the smell of the smoke.  Then, think about everyone’s responsibility for the planet, and its atmosphere.

 

As we focus on the pandemic and go to greatly restricting people and their activities, I wonder why we are so passive about regulating such a real threat.  Yes, buildings are going smoke free, and some restrictions are there, but outdoor smoking is not harmless to those who must pass a person smoking.

 

I did not get into igniting fires, both homes and in forests, nor the litter people leave when they empty trays from a car window. 

This article contains links to affiliate programs and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting. As a Zazzle, a Viglink, and an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

The introduction image is our own Zazzle product using our own image.

Updated: 06/23/2020, blackspanielgallery
 
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blackspanielgallery on 07/26/2020

If you are having one infrequently you have done well for yourself.

pateluday on 07/25/2020

I caught on to smoking by accident but I have left now ...to be honest I still smoke one in two weeks to curb strong desire for nicotine!

pateluday on 07/25/2020

I caught on to smoking by accident but I have left now ...to be honest I still smoke one in two weeks to curb strong desire for nicotine!

blackspanielgallery on 07/12/2020

I know there are cultures that smoke more than others. Some cultures seem to pride themselves on this. I have no idea why. As a drug, I am suspect in seeing a benefit, for what seems to be the apparent benefit to those people claiming that is how the addictive item satisfies the addiction. If the cycle is broken it might have little further use to its user.

Mira on 07/12/2020

I'm a nonsmoker too, but have many smokers in my family. Even now with this coronavirus they continue to smoke and boast that they are strong enough to beat the virus anyhow (and these are older people). I agree that it's annoying and unhealthy and bad for the environment, but it's one of the few strong legal drugs -- and I've come to realize that many people do rely on drugs like these to make it through life. Here in Romania people smoke and drink a lot. I never realized how much until recently.

blackspanielgallery on 07/09/2020

I was uncertain if lobby was an international term. You ave just clarified that point.

Veronica on 07/09/2020

BSG you are right about the money involved. The tobacco lobby in UK is financially powerful.
Other than my youngest brother, the entire family are non smokers.

blackspanielgallery on 06/29/2020

Here restaurants are smoke free, and in the city of New Orleans so are bars, but bars in the suburbs still allow smoking. It is a matter left up to the local governments. I believe the restaurant regulation is statewide. However, people stand outside and smoke, often near doors even though there is a distance they should be. In open areas there are no rules. People holding cigarettes out an open window are inconsiderate at a stop light, allowing the smoke to enter adjacent cars. And in crowds like Mardi Gras a few people smoke.

Regulation gets push back. Races do not smoke proportionally, so politicians are often dealing with a racial issue when trying to regulate smoking. And tobacco has a strong lobby with much money.

Veronica on 06/29/2020

BSG

I can understand your feelings towards tobacco given your family background.

My feelings are that if Ireland can ban smoking in bars, pubs, restaurants then any nation can. There was a lot of animosity when UK when smoke free but now, years later it is totally accepted. It is also illegal and people can be fined for throwing cigarette stubs out of windows.

I don't smoke and neither do my husband, sons or daughters in law.

blackspanielgallery on 06/24/2020

My grandfather refused to even have filters on his cigarettes, and my father bought packs of tobacco and tolled his own, a less expensive approach.

I am appalled when someone in a crowd full of children, such as Mardi Gras parade watchers, lights a cigarette and risks burning small hands as they reach for things.


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