Friday, April 30, 2010

Australia vs Big Tobacco

I commend Australia for standing up to the tobacco companies. According to this article in the New York Times, they're banning images, colors, and logos from cigarette packaging. And they'll increase the tobacco tax by 25%.

It's amazing to me why this was not done by every developed nation long ago.

It's probably not realistic to wish for governments around the world to ban the sale of tobacco products. The reasons of which are probably best left in the dark. However, it does make you wonder why tobacco is legal when other recreational drugs are not.

Anyway, realistically speaking, if there's one tobacco-related law I would like to see passed, it would be this:

Make it illegal to move and smoke at the same time. The only exception would be if the smoker is walking within a confined smoking area.

The reasoning? I personally don't care much for smokers. If they choose to poison themselves slowly, then they're completely free to do so. But us nonsmokers should not have to be subjected to their fumes. The only defense we have is to walk away.

I'm sure everybody has experienced this. A smoker is walking in front of you. The only way to not be directly in the path of his/her fumes is to either stay put until the smoker is a sufficient distance ahead of you or you have to overtake that person. But what happens if you're in the following scenarios?

-The smoker is walking in front of you rather quickly and you are in a rush so you can't afford to stop. But you can't catch up to overtake the smoker.
-The smoker is walking in front of you in a large crowd so that it's impossible to stop or overtake the smoker.

There's nothing you can do but be forced to inhale the fumes. Speaking of the fumes, those that are coming from the burning end of the cigarette (known as 2nd-hand smoke) is actually more poisonous than the stuff inhaled by the smoker because it's not filtered. The fumes that the smoker exhales is quite disgusting too. It's inhaled by the smoker, passes into his mouth and lungs, and expelled back out into your own mouth and lungs. It's almost as intimate as kissing the person!

If the smoker is forced to stay still, then we won't have this problem. The smoker can smoke all he/she wants. And us nonsmokers would have an easy time avoiding fumes by simply walking around and away from smoking areas.

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