Outdoor Smoking Bans: Defend The Right To Be ‘Abnormal’

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Source: “Annette Schwarz On Set With Annette Schwarz 4” by Photo from http://www.lukeisback.com – via Wiki Commons

In 2007, the UK government, along with many other countries, banned smoking inside all workplaces, all public buildings, and all pubs. Yet although health fanatics are now completely protected from dangers they believe emanate from ‘second-hand smoke’, they were still not content, and from October 2015, it will become a criminal offence to light up in your own car if there is an under-18 year old present, even if you open windows and the sunroof. Still the health zealots are not content. Having protected themselves and ‘The Children’ from wicked smokers, they want more bans on top of this. The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), which is an influential government-lobbying charity whose president and vice presidents are all Lords and Baronesses, want smoking banned in many outdoor places. This will include all parks, public squares, beaches, school gates and pub gardens.

The casual adding of pub gardens to the list will inevitably pave the way for more bans in years to come since they are privately owned rather than publicly owned. This means a logic is put in place where part of the private sphere will no longer be seen as beyond the jurisdiction of health zealotry. Hence already in New York, the mayor Bill de Blasio has said he wants to ban smoking inside people’s private homes.  So UK citizens should challenge the RSPH to stop such Orwellianism becoming a reality here as well. Unless we mount a challenge, groups like the RSPH will never stop.

Some people such as smoker’s rights group FOREST have criticised the RSPH saying it will accelerate the rate of pub closures and is authoritarian. Indeed this is all true – smokers will avoid pubs altogether, slashing their income to the point of closure. And there will be no way round it – a pub won’t be able to turn a blind eye to smoking in its garden because they will fear being heftily fined, or shut down by the council. But there’s also something more going on with the RSPH’s proposal that puts it in a new nadir for smoking bans: they are using criminal law to spread their own moral message.

The RSPH’s attempt to ban outdoor smoking differs from the previously mentioned smoking bans because it doesn’t use the argument about ‘second-hand smoke’ as its justification. Even the RSPH are not stupid enough to say there is a physical threat from smoke outdoors. Instead they want to ban it merely out of spite. They say smokers are “abnormal”. They believe the possibility that a child might see someone smoking is a direct influence on that individual possibly taking up smoking themselves in the future. The RSPH wants to nudge the child from growing into that bad adult by preventing them ever witnessing anyone smoking in a public place. Hence the ban is called for not because the smoke is a direct physical threat, but because it might influence a young mind. Arrogantly, the RSPH believe only they should influence young minds, no-one else, and that new criminal offences should be constructed to aid this objective.

But if one thinks about it, one can see that smoking in an outdoor public space or a pub garden is the responsible thing to do, in relation to children. It confirms to children the notion that adults want to protect them by not breathing smoke at them in a confined area (even if passive smoking is actually a threat). We might be dealing with responsible parents who do not smoke inside their houses, but would like a cigarette when outside. This can be a loving caring act, and it is wrong to label such behaviour ‘abnormal’. The RSPH are using criminal law to send out a ‘moral’ message that only they have the legitimate authority to mould a young mind, not parents, teachers, or any other traditional authority, and most certainly not the general public. The RSPH are censoring reality as if it was a soap opera. They are demanding society in all its activities must always send out ‘correct’ moral messages, and anything that is a threat to this must be banned. It is making moral conformity compulsory by threat of legal penalty. This is the stuff of a totalitarian dictatorship, not a liberal democracy.

If the RSPH really do care about the lessons being learnt by children, they might consider their own lesson they are sending out. If the RSPH’s ban goes through, this will teach children that we do not live in a free and tolerant society, and that those old ideals are bad. It will instil in their brains an ideal of conformity rather than diversity. And it will instil an idea that it is ok for the law to harass those deemed by government to be ‘abnormal’. Who wants to live in a society like that?

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4 thoughts on “Outdoor Smoking Bans: Defend The Right To Be ‘Abnormal’

  1. From Bayer & Stuber

    “…..In the last half century the cigarette has been transformed. The fragrant has become foul. . . . An emblem of attraction has become repulsive. A mark of sociability has become deviant. A public behavior is now virtually private. Not only has the meaning of the cigarette been transformed but even more the meaning of the smoker [who] has become a pariah . . . the object of scorn and hostility.”

    This change from fragrant to foul has not come from the smoke which has remained a constant. The shift is an entirely psychological one. Unfortunately, the way the shift is manufactured is through negative conditioning. The constant play on fear and hatred through inflammatory propaganda warps perception. Ambient tobacco smoke was essentially a background phenomenon. Now exposure to tobacco smoke (SHS) has been fraudulently manufactured into something on a par with a bio-weapon like, say, sarin gas. There are now quite a few who screech that they “can’t stand” the “stench” of smoke, or the smoke is “overwhelming”; there are now those, hand cupped over mouth, that attempt to avoid even a whiff of dilute remnants of smoke – even outdoors. There are those that claim that, arriving from a night out, they had to put all of their clothes in the washing machine and scrape the “smoke” off their skin in the shower. There are even those that claim they are “allergic” to tobacco smoke. Yet there are no allergens (proteins) in tobacco smoke to be allergic to.

    And it didn’t stop with just the smoke. Cigarette butts – heretofore unheard of – suddenly became a “monumental problem” too – akin to improvised explosive devices, requiring drastic action. These are all recent phenomena born of toxic propaganda; it is an expanding hysteria. It says nothing about the physical properties/propensities of tobacco smoke. These people are demonstrating that they have been successfully conditioned (brainwashed) into aversion. They are now suffering mental dysfunction such as anxiety disorder, hypochondria, or somatization. Typical symptoms of anxiety disorder are heart palpitations, chest tightness, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, etc. These capnophobics (smokephobics) are no different to those irrationally attempting to avoid cracks in the pavement lest their mental world come crashing down. Questionable social engineering requires putting many into mental disorder to advance the ideological/financial agenda. It’s the antismoking fanatics/zealots/extremists and their toxic mentality and propaganda that have long been in need of urgent scrutiny.

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  2. How on earth did I reach the age of 67 years old? My parents smoked, coal fires with the attendant emissions were common-place and yet I’m sill alive!! I smoke heavily….I go to the doctor every year and have my MOT….blood pressure fine, lung capacity fine….but I clearly should be dead or in an iron lung! I hate the lies that are swallowed wholesale by an increasingly gullible society…yet they don’t see that they HAVE been brainwashed? I despair. Oh….but exhaust fumes are, apparently, fine to continue from cars, buses, lorries and bikes….funny old world, innit?

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  3. Outdoor smoking bans need to be soundly rejected. In addition indoor bans need to be mended to allow separate smoking rooms in pubs. The persecution of smokers must stop.

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