reply to post by DB340
Wow. The air must be very rarified up there on your moral high ground! Must be as difficult to breath up there as one of us low life smokers.
I'd like to tackle the statements in turn from the positions of a) a smoker b) a counsellor who has worked in the addiction field c) a fellow human
1) Comparing it with drinking alcohol.
Firstly, I'm a little confused as to the manner of your comparison. Are you comparing it as an ingestion of a substance, the social implications or
No matter. I completely concur with you that drinking is a natural function. It is a statement of the obvious.However, your statement that alcohol is
not harmful to "non-alcoholics" is erroneous. There are several studies (see below) that show that there are limits to safe and healthy drinking for
those who imbibe. In section 3. of your argument you allure to the respect of other people, yet you make no mention of the harm that the misuse of
alcohol can do to those around the consumer. I have not had a client come into the clinic who has been arrested for stabbing someone after ten
cigarettes. After ten beers, yes. Or the partner who has had to go on the game to feed her children, after her husband drank all the benefit money.The
only thing that got her through the day was cigarettes.
Suffice to say I could go on to give many other personal examples, but hopefully a more objective view can be found in these links.
To conclude on this section, I believe that even though I have had these experiences, I do not believe that I have the right to judge anybody who
drinks. Inform, if asked, but to judge? Who gave me that right?
2) Labelling it 'something enjoyable'.
On what evidence to you base this proposal? All enjoyment is mental and, most importantly, it is subjective. Certainly the human body is not designed
to intake smoke, but you seem to believe that the human body has a disconnection between the physical and mental. The human body is a holistic entity
and the psychological changes that take place within the body affect the brain and visa versa. The is same for drinking, sports, sex, drugs as well as
tobacco. We are not disputing the harm that is done to the human body here, but whether that it is enjoyable or not. You have already stated that you
do not smoke and are therefore in no position to judge it's enjoyability. Agreed? In my case, I am a smoker, and in my experience it is enjoyable and
I know several fellow smokers who have the same experience. We are all outside in our little peer group cooking up something nefarious.Or is it just
having a bloody good laugh?
3) Saying 'people can do what they want.
I completely agree with all your points here. Without doubt we require social norms to live within a safe society. I am prepared to recognise that
those social norms change. For me, growing up in the sixties and seventies smoking was accepted and to some degree encouraged. Now it is not and it is
banned from all public places. No problem with that and I am happy to go outside and remove myself from what others find distateful.I make sure I
light up when no children are around and when it does not impose on others. So what the bloomin' heck is the problem with that?
4) Arguing that 'we all die sooner or later from something, so who cares?'.
Sorry, but what is the point you are trying to make in this section? What's all this business about going out and killing ourselves? OK, I know that
here in the UK there is always a furore about the amount of money it costs to treat a smoker on the NHS (not to mention obesity and drink, but they
are another story), but I believe the tax revenues outway the cost.(Happy to be corrected) There is always this noise and bluster, but the UK society
never has the balls to say "OK, let 'em die. In reality, in my humble opinion, more leeway should be given to the individual to be allowed to choose
when, where and how they should die. It's about the choice of the individual not society.
Finally. I believe in personal freedom, the ability for the individual to do what the hell he or she likes, even if it is harmful to them, on the
condition that it does not harm another. Now, rightly or wrongly, it's my perception that smokers are now a minority and an easy target for the moral
majority who love a little superiority.
So, if you're a non-smoker, I guess there's nothing like that first hit of self-righteousness!