Thanks for the reminder, but I think you misunderstood me. You have made some assumptions that point to this. The true topic as you called it really
focuses on the aspects of social responsibility. Society through governmental incentives has tried for many years to encourage people to realize that
smoking is a danger to you and those around you. However this has patently failed, as thousands die needlessly every year. What I am arguing is that
its not just legislation thats needed to protect peopleís rights but recognition by society that this problem must be tackled, although legislative
support is essential. I agree alcohol prohibition was a failure, we need a new approach were education and social unacceptability replace draconian
enforcement. Its not for a government to dictate if you wish to smoke in your own home, this is unenforceable, but rather to make people realize that
it is unacceptable to inflict smoke on other people. Rather than refusing sale to people we should have a smoking responsibly license. Where people
must pass a test to show they know how to smoke responsibly and realise the dangers before they start.
We all know that data about the amount of money spent to care for "smokers" is biased.
I have come to accept this ill informed view from
smokers, how can anyone rationalize a view that disregards the pain and suffering of people with diseases caused by tobacco. I would like to know how
these figures are biased, even if they were, surely one unnecessary death is one too many. I do not propose a rash jump into draconian legislation,
but a comprehensive build up of education and realization of moral responsibity to those around us, especially children and recognize smoking as a
weakness and an addiction that we all have a responsibility to address. With regards to numeric data
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has reviewed all significant published evidence related to both active and passive tobacco
smoking and cancer. The Agency concludes that, "Non-smokers are exposed to the same carcinogens as active smokers. Ö Second-hand tobacco smoke IS
carcinogenic to humans." IARC Monographs Volume 83 Tobacco Smoke and Involuntary Smoking (June 2002) also refers to analyses of lung cancer in never
smokers exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke at the workplace. These have found a statistically significant increased risk of lung cancer of 16 to 19
per cent. According to the World Health Organisation's 'Tobacco Free Initiative,' Hardly just an antismoking organistaion but rather the most
respected health organization in the world. While most discussions about passive smoking have concentrated on lung cancer and breathing, the effects
on heart disease are more important. ÖThe net effect is that there are about 15 times more deaths from heart disease caused by passive smoking -
35,000-62,000 deaths annually in the US - as lung cancer."
Another report also analyses the link between passive smoking and heart disease. A Summary of the Report entitled "The Health Effects of
Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) in the Workplace (December 2002) commissioned by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) in Ireland stated that, "The
general consensus among government/scientific agencies is that ETS causes heart disease. Involuntary smoking increases the risk of heart disease in
non smokers by between 25% and 30%."
Lets talk more about facts and figures and how much it costs economies besides health costs. Employers bear direct and indirect costs as a result of
employees' smoking. According to the World Bank, Health, Nutrition and Population website (July 2002), the costs include:
- more employee absenteeism;
- decreased productivity;
- increased early retirement due to ill health;
- higher health care costs and higher health insurance costs;
- higher maintenance and cleaning costs;
- higher risk of fire damage;
- higher fire insurance premiums.
The case for prohibition grows a pace. Lets not let our egos get in the way here. We can quote facts at each other all day, and call them into
question all day but I note that you do not deny smoking kills people. This is what I am driving at, I donít want to quash your civil liberties I want
to educate you so you can understand that smoking is tantamount to antisocial behavior; something society has prohibited for years. A Laissez faire
attitude to tobacco, perpetrated by governments for years still amounts to needless deaths, so lets take up our consensus that advertising of tobacco
should be band and then have the force of our convictions and see it to a satisfactory result not some partisan bodge. Society must protect itself
through education about dangers to our well being and then do something about them.
I hope this enlightened youÖbut I suspect that a smokers hard line unthinking selfishness will come to the fore.