Here in the Choice City I must often make a choice between stepping over or stepping around the splatters of alcohol inspired vomit and piles of dog shit on the sidewalks. Or maybe those are actually modern art purchased by the city. Have you seen that giant pile of Stalinist poop at the corner of Mason and Maple?
These days one can never tell.
In other news (that is to say shit I saw in my Twitter stream) there is a rise in the number of homeless children in Fort Collins. Let’s set aside for the moment that there are no homeless children in Fort Collins and pretend there are.
Faced with homeless children what are the overlords going to pass more laws against and spend more money on? The smoking ban.
Fort Collins is the upper middle class white folks paradise that has An Ordinance For Everything. There is no aspect of your life beyond regulation for your own good.
Why exactly is there a smoking ban in Fort Collins? And why does it include e-cigarettes in addition to actual tobacco cigarettes? Has it ever even crossed your mind that there should be a valid reason for laws or are you simply so use to living in a city that has An Ordinance For Everything that you don’t even question this stuff any more?
If you ever did?
Best I’ve been able to figure out here are the reasons for banning smoking.
Cigarettes smell bad. People shouldn’t have to smell scents which are not pleasing to them.
I went to Whole Foods on Monday, walked in the door, and was assaulted by the stench of hippie. If you live in a hippie free zone you have no idea how bad they smell.
Ever smelled a fat person? How about women (and men) with too much perfume?
2. Smoking is unhealthy.
Unlike consuming massive amounts of alcohol? Unlike being fat?
Fort Collins thrives on booze. In the form of the breweries and all the taxes collected as a result of them doing business. In the form of DUIs, a huge money maker for the government and private companies who provide “counselling” and the parole system.
Fast food is equal untouchable. While often attacked by hipsters and left-wing statists as a source of corporate evil the fact is no one will seriously attempt to restrict fast food for two reasons. Fat people, a protected group, often eat there. People with liberal arts degrees (left-wing statists) often work there.
Next time someone asks you if “you’d like fries with that” ask her what she majored in. Journalism with a minor in international relations. Try it. See if I’m wrong.
The propaganda says this:
The leading preventable cause of death, smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by smoking.
The implication here is that smoking and smoking alone is responsible for all this death and carnage.
Here is what the CDC website actually says with some emphasis added to put things in perspective.
The numbers of preventable deaths from each cause cannot be added together to get an overall total, the authors note. That’s because prevention of some premature deaths may push people to different causes of death. For example, a person who avoids early death from heart disease still may die prematurely from another preventable cause, such as an unintentional injury.
Modifiable risk factors are largely responsible for each of the leading causes of death:
- Heart disease risks include tobacco use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, poor diet, overweight, and lack of physical activity.
- Cancer risks include tobacco use, poor diet, lack of physical activity, overweight, sun exposure, certain hormones, alcohol, some viruses and bacteria, ionizing radiation, and certain chemicals and other substances.
- Chronic respiratory disease risks include tobacco smoke, second-hand smoke exposure, other indoor air pollutants, outdoor air pollutants, allergens, and exposure to occupational agents.
- Stroke risks include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, overweight, previous stroke, tobacco use, alcohol use, and lack of physical activity.
- Unintentional injury risks include lack of seatbelt use, lack of motorcycle helmet use, unsafe consumer products, drug and alcohol use (including prescription drug misuse), exposure to occupational hazards, and unsafe home and community environments.
When will be ban fat people in Old Town? Or alcohol use? Or poor diet? Or sun exposure? Try as you might you can’t come up with evidence that tobacco use causes poor diet, lack of physical activity, sun exposure, alcohol use, unsafe consumer products, drug use, occupational hazards and so forth.
3. Smoking leads to litter.
Have any of you bothered to look around you? Newspaper. Fast food. Beer bottles and cans. Trash of all sorts litters the ground. Why are the other industries and habits which contribute to pollution not being targeted by bans?
I have the answer. You knew I would.
The smoking ban has nothing to do with smell, health or litter. The bans are taking place because you people are puritans.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
Puritans are people who are terrified that some place in the world someone might be experiencing pleasure.
Smoking is risky for smokers, but is it bad for the rest of us? Science says no. Those who die from smoking tend to die close to retirement age. Lifetime medical costs for smokers are less than for nonsmokers. The risk to others of secondhand smoke is impossible to measure and is probably negligible. In short, smokers are not a public cost. So why are they over-taxed, dissed, and discriminated against in so many ways?
There is a second and equally important reason for all these bans. You people have simply lost the ability to interact with other humans. Back when I was your age . . .
. . . insert walking up hill in the snow story here . . .
. . . people had manners. If someone was smoking in a public space and another person was bothered by the smoke the two people would have a civilized conversation like two adults. It would go something like this.
Non-smoker: Excuse me. Smoking isn’t my thing and the smoke really bothers my throat. Would you mind sending your smoke in a direction away from me?
Smoker: Oh certainly. No problem. I can move over here then I’ll be down wind of you.
Non-smoker: Well you don’t have to do that. I don’t want to inconvenience you.
Smoker: No inconvenience at all. I don’t mind one bit. In fact let me buy your next beer to make up for it.
Those days are long gone because you have no manners. You have no consideration for other people. You have no class. You can’t talk to other humans unless there is a cell phone acting as the go-between.
Instead of using the threat of violence to force others to act the way you want them to act try behaving like the adult you wish you were. Remember in the end that once the smokers are gone the puritans will need to come for another group of people. And that group just might include you.
http://www.fcgov.com/smokefree/ – For the lowdown on current smoking nanny activity.
http://www.fcgov.com/smokefree/smoking-faq.php – To find out how long people can spend in jail for smoking. You pay for that jail time with your taxes. Taxes that could help these imaginary homeless children in Fort Collins.
http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2015/01/20/fort-collins-smoking-ban-city-council-meeting/22078305/ – For the typical inaccurate information the news media provides. Remember when they told us Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
http://bizwest.com/businesses-mull-adding-worker-smoking-bans/ – To read about the future in which you will not be allowed to have a job if you smoke.