There’s no smoke without self-righteousness

Normally I’d be writing this with a cigarette on but we’ve banned smoking in the house.

Yes – Shark Towers is now a no-smoking establishment and those wishing to avail themselves of the noxious weed must now go outdoors or into the shed.

It’s not a health decision but an attempt to keep the house smoke-free and clean in order to sell it later this year.

There are fringe benefits, of course – I’m smoking far less and saving money – but I’m not going to quit the habit.

I enjoy it far too much and besides if I can annoy a few self-righteous anti-smoking bastards it’s my Libertarian duty to carry on smoking and irritate the fuck out of them if I possibly can.

However, when it comes to punitive measures against smokers, the Usanians beat us into a cocked hat.

I heard on the radio last night that Richmond in California is going to ban smoking in multi-occupancy dwellings.

Now, that’s nothing new in the ‘Land of the Free’ but Richmond is, apparently, the murder capital of California, which makes you wonder what the fuck its civic leaders are doing for brains.

Richmond is also the largest US city to introduce this type of legislation, along with virtually every sort of anti-smoking law it’s possible to impose on its citizens.

Richmond now has on the books the strictest batch of secondhand smoking laws in the region, said Serena Chen, a regional director at the American Lung Association in California. Other cities have some of the same laws, but not all of them.

The aptly-named Richmond councilman Tom Butt says:

“We’re on the right side of history. This idea that somehow you could bifurcate buildings and make portions of it smoking, portions of it nonsmoking, it just doesn’t work.

Well, call me a staid and stick-in-the-mud Luddite, but I’d rather take my chance with the carcinogens from a bit of tobacco smoke than some gun-wielding arsehole on PCP, which is the sort of anti-social character for which Richmond is famous, or so it would appear from some of my research.

You stand a fair chance of someone popping a cap in yo’ ass there, with a murder rate 5 times the national average.

However, as with many urban shit holes, I’m sure that the majority of Richmond’s citizens are ordinary law-abiding people.

I’m equally sure that less targeting of smokers and more policing with regard to reducing the murder rate would do far more to make the city a better place to inhabit as well as being a more productive use of Richmond taxpayers’ money.

As always, however, it’s the easy targets that get selected.

Doing something that would actually make a real difference to people’s lives is just too fucking difficult…

Of course, I suppose we should be thanking these guardians of public health.

I mean…all that nasty tobacco smoke with its carcinogens.

Who wants to suffer from all these things?

  • Coughs and phlegm
  • Lightheadedness, nausea
  • Increased susceptibility to allergens like dust or pollen
  • Irritation of eyes, nose, throat and lungs
  • Inflammation of lungs, and increased asthma attacks
  • Respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Lowered resistance to respiratory infection
  • Macrophages overwhelmed by particles result in immune reactions that cause inflammation and ‘sticky’ blood, increasing risk of clots and both heart and lung disease
  • Mutations in chromosomes and damage to DNA
  • For people exposed chronically to 1µg/m3 a rate of lung cancer in the range of 34 to 650 people per million
  • Possible cause of multiple chemical sensitisation, leading to changes in red and white blood cells, bleeding, liver damage, and degeneration of the nervous system.

Oops…sorry, that’s what diesel exhaust fumes do to you.

But that’s OK, at least it’s not tobacco smoke…