Smoking and My Health: Freedom to Choose

by Eric Hartwell - Date: 2007-02-22 - Word Count: 534 Share This!

A number of studies have been pointing to a different conclusion: that the harm or danger ETS or environmental tobacco smoke inflicts, which is 85% of what people inhale in a public smoking place, is not statistically significant. This means that the buzz on the dangers and increased risks of ETS is exaggerated. Therefore, banning is an extreme and unnecessary measure. Once this is understood and scientifically proven, people can and will stop making a big deal about it. They (non-smokers) don't really mind their smoking friends smoking around them. Maybe around a cloud of smoke they do, but that is understandable. We can exercise our freedom and rights together, with a clear understanding of the issue.

Freedom may well be the most abused and misused term if it weren't for love. Freedom is an act of the freewill. To some, it is unrestricted use. Right is a political or lawful claim. People's freedoms should not clash with each other, or else they step on other people's rights. They should support and connect to each other. Freedom is for the general good. In freedom we exercise our rights as individuals and members of a group.

A non-smoker's (and smoker's) right is to breathe fresh and clean air, and he exercises this by the correct and wise use of his freedom to smoke or not to smoke, to pollute or not to pollute. When he makes the right choice, He also allows other people to exercise their rights and use their freedom. On the other hand, a smoker's right to smoke conflicts with a non-smoker's right to breathe clean air. This is downright unfair. The question is not how harmful the effects of smoking are or how many people complain about it; there are immediate health effects. If they prefer to breathe in a cloud of smoke, let them exercise their right but let them suffer the consequences alone. The only way to do this is by banning smoking in public places.

Addictive or self-inflicted?

Many smokers want to quit, given the "choice." What does that mean? It means that they are having a hard time making that choice. They are willing, but something is pulling them back. This unknown thing is a substance - nicotine - an addictive drug. Some companies have even been charged with deliberately producing very addictive cigarettes. This can be observed in smokers who started smoking due to peer pressure but once addicted continued to do so because of chemical compulsion. Banning smoking in public places is a way of helping millions of smokers who want to kick the habit, and helping quitters sustain their decision.

The fact that every year we hear testimonies of people quitting smoking means that it is still a matter of personal choice. It is not as addictive as hard drugs nor does it lead to irrational, mindless behavior like alcohol abuse. There are many other substances and activities that are addictive but are not banned, like coffee. Who or what is a government that it should remove the freedom of choice? People can abstain if they want to live healthy lives. Their inability to refrain or abstain is not an excuse to get someone else to do their job for them.

Related Tags: quit smoking, smoking, stop smoking, smokers, passive smoking

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