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I don’t smoke. Never have. But I detest the demonization of smokers. I hate it. I don’t like the way they have been singled out for vilification. You see them slinking furtively around, now, seemingly ashamed.
And who could blame them?
It is SO interesting that there should be a thread about smoking on Free Republic this week. I work in a community college where, at the moment, smoking is still permitted in designated areas. I am on the Member Welfare Committee of the Faculty Assembly and we just had a meeting on Thursday concerning making a recommendation to the entire membership that we become a tobacco free campus.
To me, this represents the height of hypocrisy. I live in NC where the economy was once largely dependent on farming, particularly tobacco farming. The very building we were meeting in is the oldest one on campus and it undoubtedly was built with the proceeds from tobacco farming. My father was the pastor of several small country churches while I was growing up and many of his parishioners were tobacco farmers. The hypocrisy is that the government makes piranhas out of smokers, but gladly collects the taxes that come from the sale of tobacco. It is still a legal product!! If it is that bad, BAN IT!
I am not a smoker, but it gets on my nerves to hear my colleagues self-righteously talk about second-hand smoke and how they have a "right" not to be exposed to what is a legal product. I am fortunate not to have any respiratory issues or sensitivity to smoke, but I do have a sympathy for those who are merely partaking of a product that is being legally sold. People have the right to make poor choices for themselves. The chair of the committee is a black woman whom I like very much, but she even said that slavery was once legal in NC and where does that get her today, making me think that she might be one who thinks we owe them reparations for acts that happened years before we were born.
I never thought I would live to see what our nation has become! It saddens me greatly that many think they have the right to impose their will on everyone else, just because the idea they are pushing is politically correct. For those on this thread who say, just "quit smoking", that is easier said than done. If someone were to force me to stop eating chocolate, I do not know if I could do it. I've never even considered giving it up for Lent which is only 40 days. Smokers who quit can also experience weight gain. My husband smoked for 40 years and did quit "cold turkey" after visiting a hypnotist almost 4 years ago. He was thin all his life, but has now gained 30 pounds and IMO is in some ways less healthy than he was before.