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Tuesday, November 25, 2003
[Because of urgent preparations for my forthcoming trip down under, it is not likely that (m)any of my postings will feature links to other sites for quite a while. My sincere apologies to Myfanwy Trellis, my only devoted reader. I sometimes find myself frustrated by absurd attachments to links, sound, and pictures in blogs. Whatever happened to exquisite, unadorned prose...?]

Consenting adults

The Times apparently carries a letter today from health professionals urging the Airstrip One government to ban smoking in public places. Read more here.
A ban on smoking in public is demanded today by a powerful alliance of medical experts. They are calling for all workplaces, including pubs and restaurants, to become smoking-free zones in order to protect the health of staff.
A government spokesman is reported as saying that such action would be ‘premature’ and hardened smokers are up-in-arms.

I do not understand the reservations. Some years ago, I went to an exclusive New York restaurant to which I was refused admission because I was not wearing a tie. I was with a group of colleagues at the time and, fortuitously, my hotel was nearby so I was able to remedy the ‘offence’ quickly and rejoin the party almost seamlessly. The food was excellent but it was spoilt by the clouds of smoke from smokers permitted in the restaurant. Common sense would indicate that smoking in restaurants is infinitely more offensive than not wearing a tie. Fortunately, in many parts of the USA, smoking is now banned in public places. Could we not simply follow suit?

There are two things that ought only to be permitted among/between consenting adults in private. Firstly, there is religion. Religion ought to be forbidden children under all circumstances. It is corrosive, divisive, and inaccurate or insupportable in almost all respects. Secondly, smoking is harmful, offensive, and ridiculous. Restricting it to addicts in opium dens specially reserved ‘smoking houses’ would be a logical step. After all, the rest of us surely have the right to breathe unpolluted air wherever and whenever possible.

On today’s news, one of the giant intellects of the pro-smoking lobby said that it would be wrong to ban her from smoking in public places because it was her ‘only pleasure in life’. Well madam, while the rest of us enjoy a smoke-free environment, if your life really is that bad may I suggest something that would improve your lot dramatically? Suicide!

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