Rauchen Ist Verboten! (Smoking Is Prohibited)

20130319-004746.jpgFreedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err––Mahatma Gandhi

I’m not a smoker nor do I care for smoking. It’s a disgusting habit that should be eliminated from a person’s lifestyle, but I do take exception when little tin-god politicians or administrators put in place regulations that strip people of enjoying a lawful activity.

While walking through a local park, I noticed a sign that announced “no smoking.” What struck me about that sign is that it wasn’t in a pavilion, restroom, or another enclosed area, but a wide-open space on the park grounds. For some reason this sign got my blood boiling.

It is obvious that the hysteria of second hand smoke is alive and well. I don’t care for the smell of smoke or its affect on human health, but to forbid a person from smoking outside while at a public park seems over the top to me.

I find it odd that in the same park that bans open-air smoking; the “powers that be”  don’t have a problem with drinking alcohol outdoors. For that matter, the ban only applies to tobacco, so I’m guessing Marijuana is alright assuming it’s medicinal (to meet the state law exception). Something just seems backwards to me.

I know most people will disagree with me, but adults have a right to smoke; furthermore, people have the right to be stupid. Even if it means they’re going to do something harmful to themselves, like smoking tobacco products, drinking alcohol, or eating unhealthy foods.

My take on smoking and the tobacco industry is simple. If it is so horrible then BAN IT ALL. Don’t slowly kill the tobacco industry through litigation and laws that will drive the business under through attrition. Either do it all at once, or allow people to do what they did for hundreds of years…..have their vices! In today’s world people know the dangers of tobacco use. Let those who want to use it, have it.

Most smokers I know are good and decent people who will go out of their way to accommodate those who don’t smoke. I’ve even been around complete strangers that will ask if their smoking will bother me. If I say it will, then they voluntarily move or just put their cigarettes away.

For those of us who don’t care for second hand smoke, there are plenty of indoor smoking bans both public and private to visit. Banning outdoorIWantYou1 smoking is  ridiculous. It just torments smokers; furthermore, all it does is give those of us who don‘t like to smoke a bad name; an outdoor smoking ban really does sound like persecution that’s reminiscent of 1930s Germany.