Just for the record, I don't smoke. I can't stand it. It smells horrible and is bad for my health. And that's as far as it goes with me. If you want to smoke, go ahead. If you are in my home, I will ask you to keep it to a minimum or do it someplace where it won't bug me (I feel I would be obligated to provide someplace accommodating to a smoking guest. There's no excuse for me putting them out in a 30 below Chicago winter like we just had), but that's it. Part of being a grown-up is the right to your own body: if you have weighed the risks and feel it is still worth doing, like smoking, sex, performing extreme sports, etc., then go ahead, just remember to take what reasonable precautions you can and that you have no one to blame but yourself if things go wrong. If I'm out in public, I don't have any right to dictate the terms of the world I'm interacting with. Places with too much cigarette smoke? I just don't go. Kind of like those people who feel we should censor the Internet -- I have no right to ruin your good time, and you have no right to ruin mine.
Anyone reading the current storyline in my Stress Puppy comic strip already knows how I feel about the anti-smoking crusade. For those who don't, and based on the web hits, I'd say that's a safe guess, here's my stance -- the anti-smoking campaign is either a bunch of condescending assholery (is there ANYONE in America that doesn't know smoking is bad?) or an attempt to push people around with something that can't be swatted aside as a philosophical difference of opinion. They have SCIENCE on their side! It's more about the people feeling empowered by preaching their anti-smoking gospel than rational thought. Consider that Chicago banned smoking in bars before the statewide ban took effect. Yeah. That's real intelligent. No one ever gets hurt or killed after drinking too much in a bar, and morgues are filling up with people who smoked too much in a bar. If you really want some absurdity, Amsterdam (a.k.a. The Happiest Place On Earth) just enacted a smoking ban. The Red Light District and all those "coffee shops" where you can openly buy and smoke marijuana? Not only are those okay, but because people there will smoke a mixture of half tobacco and half weed, the city will have inspectors making sure there is no tobacco mixed in there. It almost serves as an argument against Intelligent Design -- you'd think God would have done a better job on our brains.
And now, the latest salvo of stupidity from this ship of fools. The American Medical Association Alliance is protesting cigarettes in the new movie "He's Just Not That Into You." It's basically a big budget Lifetime movie, with supposedly modern women being defined as empty without a man in their lives. Nope, that's not the problem, it's that there are several on camera instances of Natural American Spirit Lights. Supposedly, they are easily identifable by their bright yellow box (not to me, I thought it was a prop made up for the movie just to avoid paying for product placement).
This despite the fact that Jennifer Connelly's character leaves her husband, not because he cheated on her, but because he lied about quitting smoking. Admittedly, given a choice between Jennifer Connelly and cigarettes, I'll toss the cigarettes without a second thought. Although, when your husband is Sack from Wedding Crashers, you should be worried about more than just him getting cancer.
Not only does a guy lose Jennifer Connelly because of smoking, but AT NO TIME IN THE MOVIE IS ANYONE DEPICTED SMOKING. But according to the AMAA, that doesn't matter, because just showing cigarettes presents a glamorous image to the youth market (who exactly do they think is seeing this movie?). Yeah. I see cigarettes, and I'm suddenly gripped by the urge to start smoking. So there is no negative counterarguments to smoking, we must go George Orwell and pretend they do not exist while pushing people to the fringes.
And don't forget, kids...smoking cigarettes doesn't make you cool. Cigars. THEY make you cool.