28 Aug

Smoking. I’m not referring to my favorite way to cook pork, but rather the practice in which a substance is burned and the smoke is tasted or inhaled. I have such ambivalent feelings on the subject.

First of all, I love the fact that in my state, Florida, every time I go into a restaurant, I know it is completely free of smoking. This is a benefit I don’t even notice until I go to South Carolina for a week and have to walk through tons of smoke just to enjoy a meal with some of my friends.

On the other hand, the fact that we (Florida) had to pass a Constitutional amendment, which made it illegal (and not just illegal, but illegal to even consider changing the law without another vote of the entire state to change the constitution to even allow it) seems a bit excessive. I mean, if I am really for freedom, shouldn’t I be for the freedom of the businessman who wants to eat in smoke. Should there not at least be the option for those who own and operate restaurants?

The reason for this is, of course, that second hand smoke can certainly harm you. Unlike my friend Josh Dobbs, I think there is some validity to it. Of course, the recent harping on trying to get people to walk to work would pose at least as much of an issue with the exhaust. My son and I had to walk five miles to get home one Saturday and I guarantee that the amount of carcinogens we inhaled was far more than sitting next to a smoker for a while.

Nevertheless, there are concerns. But I believe it is a red herring to the real issue. I’m not one to start smoking just because of this like Propaganda Boy is. However, if we were truly concerned about health, we would outlaw a lot more than cigarettes. The real issue is that people like me find it unpleasant to be around smokers. Because of our selfishness, we try to leprocize the smokers. But when we reduce it to an issue of carcinogens, we come up with solutions like I’ve seen on TV recently for cigarettes that are merely water vapor being blown into the air.

Now if someone comes to you in a normal situation and says, “I want to suck in some water and spit it into the air around you,” I don’t believe anyone would respond with a positive reply. Even if that person says that the water will be vaporized and fall on you slowly, the average human would object. But since we have limited the smoking argument to the particles in the air (not their presence alone, which would make more sense, but what they contain), this seems like a great solution.

So before I make myself too much like Monk and emulating his “spittle shield” on a birthday cake, I’ll just assert that I think the odd, stunted debate has led to a weird solution. Anyone else concur?


One Response to “Smoking”

  1. Ashlee Gunsalus August 30, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    So, your post was directly under this article in my Facebook news feed, interesting.

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