04 July 2008

1 Year of Smoke-Free Living

No Smoking sign
It is now 1 year since the smoking ban started in England on 1 July 2007. It is good that about 400,000 people have given up smoking. But what a shame that so many still smoke and try to justify it, quoting such things as civil liberties.

But why do smokers think that they are free? They are slaves to the tobacco companies, spending a fortune every year on a drug that will eventually kill them, and making the shareholders of tobacco companies very rich.

The freedom is when a person is no longer addicted to smoking, plus the freedom for everyone to eat or drink in a smoke-free environment.

The scientific facts clearly show that smoking kills. It is not only the smoke that the smoker breathes in that is damaging, but also there is the smoke from the cigarette and that which is breathed out, that can harm other people in the vicinity of the smoker.

We really do need to consider a programme of phasing out smoking altogether. All those who still smoke should be given help to quit, which can be paid for through the taxes raised on smoking. I realise that the British Government makes a lot of money from the tax they add to tobacco sales, but this money should be used wisely. If everyone gave up smoking, then although the taxes from tobacco would cease, there would be less expenditure by the Government on getting people to quit, on treating smoking-related diseases, and if the taxes were being used just for getting people to quit, then as more people quit, there would be less people still to treat.

Although people have a right to smoke, they do not have a right to smoke in places where smoking is banned by law or by the owner/occupier (e.g. a private home). Everyone has the right to be enslaved to large corporations if they so wish. But everyone also has the right to enjoy life without being adversely affected by those who wish to be slaves to smoking.

I have never smoked in my life, and never will. I made the choice not to when I was a young boy, and I will never change that choice. I will not choose to endanger my own health or that of others in such a way.

If you are a smoker, then you owe it to yourself to at least consider how much of a slave you are and whether you wish to continue in this, or whether you would prefer to be free.

The best choice is to choose life.