So let it be written, So let it be done…

So Quebec is now smoke free in privately owned public spaces. As a non-smoker, I look forward to patronizing smoke-free bars. But as a citizen, I find the manner to achieve that a bit heavy handed. Yes, apparently every other city on the planet is doing it, but you can always wish that your local officials will address the issue with more reason. Give the citizens options instead of an across the board ban. It was done for elite cigar smokers.

Yes, we all loath big tobacco along with Walmart, fast food chains, and big oil. They have been less than forthcoming and morally responsible in the interest of money. But, don’t ONLY punish the end user for something that has been socially acceptable for ages. I know these thoughts are a bit late, but for the next thing that becomes socially unacceptable, hopefully we will address the issue with more reason and compassion.

According to a report on CanadaAM this morning, perfume and cologne are the next up. So far their plan is for a public awareness campaign to show the public how people are affected by it. Their goal is for people to refrain from wearing cologne and perfume in public places. So I guess I’ll just wear it at home or in the car.

9 Comments so far

  1. Dahlia (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

    What about B.O.? What will the government do about that? At least perfume and cologne are made to mask the smell, but will the poor citizens do when they’re confronted with someone with the inevitable smell of bacteria and sweat in the air? I think everyone should start wearing gas masks for good measure.

  2. chris (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 3:06 pm

    It’s funny how in Toronto and other North American jurisdictions with stronger traditions of limited government, it’s usually argued that the ban isn’t meant to protect smokers from themselves, but to protect the people around them from the supposed (and unproven) cancer risk that exposure to second-hand smoke brings. But here in Quebec, it’s shamelessly asserted that the ban is definitely intended to reduce smoking in the pronvice–not for any sentimental humanitarian reasons, but to ease budget pressure on the province’s wasteful and inept health care system!

    So the reasoning goes: since the healthcare system is public, the government has the authority to ban activities which might increase its costs. This seems fundamentally wrongheaded to me. The point of public healthcare is not to grant government the authority to dictate our lifestyle choices.

  3. Strange (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

    Chris, you’re twisting the reasoning a little bit because it goes more along the lines of: “why should a non-smoking tax payer pay for a smoker’s healthcare who knownly damages his body?”
    It’s the same as if I was chiping in to a build a house with you knowing that you were going to destroy your side of the building to make me pay for the half of the repairs – seems a little awkward doesn’t it ?

  4. Frank (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

    The reports in the media seem to be mixed as to whether this will have an affect on cutting down on smoking. The government says it will, but since when do we believe everything they say.

    Strange, your analogy seems extreme for effect. Does anyone have any numbers regarding how much a non-smoker takes from health care in their lifetime and how much a smoker takes. I mean real numbers for each and not how much one takes more than the other.

    Logic would suggest that it should be fairly even since a non-smoker should live longer (usually longer after retirement) and incur costs during that time. Long term diseases that tax the healthcare system inflict smokers and non-smokers alike.

  5. chris (unregistered) on May 31st, 2006 @ 5:28 pm

    Also, sugar and alcohol cost the health system more than tobacco. According to strange’s line of thinking, they should be banned and excercise mandated.

  6. Monique (unregistered) on June 1st, 2006 @ 4:21 am

    Twisting the reasoning? Ugh — never mind that it’s simply restating exactly the same thing to say “why should a non-smoking taxpayer pay [the increased costs] for a smoker’s healthcare [instead of banning his activity]” — the follow-on comparison is even MORE disgusting… asserting that a smoker’s body is something YOU OWN part of, like a house, because you ‘chip in’ to it?? Foul.

  7. Strange (unregistered) on June 1st, 2006 @ 10:18 am

    ROFL – keep on whining.

  8. Monique (unregistered) on June 1st, 2006 @ 5:19 pm

    Never mind who’s actually whining about other people’s business — what’s scary is the word-for-word echoes of bygone eras when we had to fight smug-ass pigs like this for control over our bodies just because the bureaucrats were on their side at the time. So here’s an echo right back at ya: My Body, My Choice, pig.

  9. Frank (unregistered) on June 1st, 2006 @ 5:24 pm

    I am still quite surprised that the non-smoking comments have had a belligerent tone for the most part. Many like the one above that offer nothing to the conversation and show no respect for comments and viewpoints on the other side.

    I know many of you have had arguements outside of this space which may have jaded and polarized your view. But the hope was to put those aside and discuss this topic treating each other like human beings.

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