COMMUNITY COMMENTARY

Mr. Murtaugh’s indignation aside, smoking is suicide. I dare any smoker (who survives) to argue any different. Feel that rush when you light up? It’s the blood vessels in your lungs shrinking and restricting the flow of life to your heart and brain. Put a noose around your neck, and for the first few seconds before you die you will feel the same thing. The only difference is, smokers spread that death over decades, not minutes. The harm from smoking does not limit itself to the smoker. Secondhand smoke not only offends, it’s harmful to the unwilling recipient. Adults and children alike are affected. Mostly kids, as uncaring parents light up in the car while their innocent children are held hostage and assaulted with the deadly smoke. Hundreds of fires are started every year by uncaring smokers tossing their butts out of car windows. Our streets, parks, beaches, in fact our whole world, is littered with your butts.
Huddled in a dark, out-of-the-way corner you say? I have to walk through clouds of that foul stench to get in the door of the grocery store, as smokers have to get that “last puff” in before walking in the door.
Teenagers stand right outside the stores in the mall smoking. Office workers stand in the corridors and fire escapes of their buildings smoking rather than obeying the law and going outside to smoke. Want to get in the elevator? So does that person finishing their cigarette, exhaling their final lungful inside the elevator where I am forced to breath it. The list of offenses by the selfish, inconsiderate masses of smokers is endless.
Why do smokers believe that their right to smoke supersedes our right to
breathe clean air?
The smoke from cigarettes cannot be contained by the invisible barriers that define your “smoking section.” Smoke doesn’t read signs, it doesn’t care whose lungs it poisons, it will not be contained. You think that we, as the “non-smoking missionaries” as you put it, are concerned about your health? Don’t flatter yourself. We are concerned about the health of the whole world, ourselves included. If you want to seal yourself in an airtight room and smoke yourself to death, go right ahead (as long as you pay for any related costs in full, in advance!).
Another consequence of your tobacco habit is the cost. Not just to you, but to our whole nation. How many billions of our tax dollars have subsidized tobacco farmers? How many trillions of our tax dollars go toward caring for smoker’s health issues, including their funerals?
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the negative effects of smoking, just the ones that came to mind as I was reading your column. As for your statement that you are not an advocate of smoking tobacco? Your article clearly says different. Clearly, I am an advocate for outlawing tobacco altogether. There are no benefits from its use, no
medical uses that I have ever heard of. It’s simply an extended form of suicide and needs to be abolished. How many millions of people die worldwide each year directly from the effects of smoking?
Maybe someday the world will come to its senses and see the truth, see that there is only pain suffering and death waiting at the end of that cigarette in their mouth. However, the tobacco barons who pump billions into advertising, lobbying, and wooing the political puppets on their payroll will never let that happen.

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