A pint of brain damage and a side of cancer

Don Norvell

A custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse.

— King James, 1604

People have known for 400 years that smoking is unhealthy. Anyone older than age six claiming ignorance of this fact is either a complete idiot or a liar.

As a smoker, I know firsthand that smokers are well aware of the risks and have been since grade school. I remember asking my grandparents to quit when I first learned of the risks in first grade. I have seen the Surgeon General’s warning on every pack I have bought.

Even those who do not believe King James cannot ignore that the Surgeon General’s warning has been printed on every pack since 1965.

We smokers do not smoke out of ignorance. We smoke for the pleasure of feeling the smoke fill our lungs. We smoke for the calm relaxation it induces. I personally find the Brownian motion of smoke molecules colliding with air molecules quite soothing.

It seems as though the socialists are desperate for new recruits. Frivolous lawsuits to punish companies for the actions of moronic customers aggravate people by wasting time and money. The general public does not wish to kill our nation’s economic prosperity for extreme and sudden environmental regulations. Welfare fraud makes one question the government’s ability to provide social services, and universal health care is merely a dream. Smoking bans seem to be their last hope of remaining a cohesive political movement.

I would like to know the real reason behind the anti-smoking movement. If public health were the true cause, then smoking bans would be only the beginning. These people should proceed to reinstate alcohol prohibition, ban all foods containing trans-fat, imprison people who are too fat in maximum security health spas and impose heavy fines upon those who refuse an annual, comprehensive medical exam. No free society can tolerate such deep intrusions into private conduct.

I cannot understand why smoking bans seem to be gaining popularity. It is immeasurably disturbing that our supposedly free country fails to see the free market solution.

The anti-smoking people should open their own smoke-free bar. There is a small chance that a smoke-free bar will drive the smoking bars out of business, assuming people are inspired to quit. The more probable failure of the smoke-free bar will prove that the socialists are wrong (again) and should let smokers alone.

The most probable outcome is that the smoke-free bar will attract new customers who previously avoided the bars. Both establishments will prosper, funneling more money into the local economy.

If anti-smoking activists cannot afford their own bar, I am certain their Sugar-Daddy, George Soros, would be most delighted to subsidize the endeavor.

The foundation of our capitalist society is the right to private property. Bar owners can prohibit smoking just as they can prohibit pets and bare feet. This is the capitalist way — the American way!

Don Norvell is a physics graduate assistant and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].