I smoke. It's okay to hate me.

zealotry drives me nuts. I don't have a problem with educating the public. I don't have a problem with the legislation, either, though they should just stop beating around the bush and make smoking illegal. I'm sure they would if they weren't earning billions of dollars in sin-taxes.

Yeah, smoking's bad. No argument from me. Sure it's rotten for you. You won't ever hear me saying otherwise. Though I'm not as convinced about the dangers of second-hand smoke as a lot of people are, I'm open to the idea.

No, what angers me is that it's considered more and more acceptable to treat smokers like second-class citizens. The PSAs I'm seeing these days are powerful (which is great), but they're starting to cross the line from educational to alarmist to judgemental. Stupid.ca is an Ontario government sponsored site. There's a STUPID TV and print campaign going on right now. It says on the site that their PSAs are "a social commentary on the choice to smoke or not to smoke... not meant to be an insult to smokers, smokers aren't stupid."

Uh huh.

Watch the ads. If you're a smoker, their 'social commentary' sure comes across as accusatory, prejudiced and self-righteous. It's crap, just >this< far from inciting disgust and hatred toward smokers. Don't believe me? Watch the ads.

My favorite is one they don't have online: It starts with a dog dropping a load in the grass. After it's done a young girl enters the scene and starts rolling herself in it. She stands up, covered in dog shit, even on her face, and says "How many kids would go out of their way to smell like crap? So why do they make themselves smell this way by smoking?"

(I'm not making this up!)

Mmmm. Edgy. Attention grabbing. Maybe she could have rolled in curry and made her point about Indian families. That wouldn't offend anyone, would it? Hey, it's just a spice. Indians themselves aren't being judged here, just their diet. I've heard that argument from bigoted coworkers. This is part of why I prefer working at home.

Fuck you, Ontario government.

Address the issue, don't insult the people! Make it illegal and shut down the damned tobacco companies if you're that concerned for my health. Don't go attacking me on TV and suggesting that it's okay to tsk tsk and turn your heads away when you pass me by.

Would you treat a drinker the same way you treat a smoker? Or is drinking just peachy as long as you don't drive afterward. I mean, who would judge you for having a cold beer after mowing the lawn?

Sure, alcohol can kill you a million different ways. Sure, it's mind-altering to the point where it becomes permanently debilitating if you do too much of it too often. Sure, it costs the healthcare system just as much whether you die from drinking-related heart disease, stroke, cancer or cirrhosis as it does when similar health problems are brought on by smoking. Sure, 4% of the global burden of disease is attributable to alcohol, compared with 4.1% to tobacco and 4.4% to high blood pressure. Sure, assholes are more likely to come home and beat their children after a drinking binge than after a night of heavy smoking.

But do you treat drinkers as second class citizens? I'm not talking about bleary-eyed alcoholics, just plain drinkers. Do you wrinkle your nose and make a little "I'm disgusted by you" face when you walk past some guy drinking wine in a restaurant like you do when you pass by some guy smoking outside the doors at a mall?

I didn't think so.

Make those faces at the tobacco companies that sell the crap. Make those faces at your government, which points a damning finger at smokers with one hand while emptying their wallets with the other. But don't make those faces at me just because it's fashionable to look down on smokers. Because, no matter who you are, I can find something about you which was once fashionable to look down upon, too. And fashions come back all the time.
How's this...

"I know how hard it must be for you to quit smoking, but you'll be better in the long run."

Oh, I'm not quitting smoking, I like to smoke, I enjoy it. I'm just taking a little (dare I say it) breather.

Because that's the truth. When I wanted to quit, I did. I didn't have cravings after a few weeks and I was fine. But then I decided to start again, people always go "awww but WHY?"

Because I like it, that's why. Honest to goodness just like it. No one tricked me into liking it, I'm not under some nicotine-induced delusion, I just like to do it. The reasons why don't matter.

I like the taste, I like the smell, I like the feel of it. It's part of my personality. It keeps away the riff raff.

Fuck em all. I refused to feel shame.
The growing trend here in the US is the 'firing' of people who smoke, even if they don't smoke while at work. Unbelievable!

Who will they fire next? People who drink or people who have high cholesterol?
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
How stupid's that? I screwed up my own comment on my own blog. :(
though they should just stop beating around the bush and make smoking illegalThis hypocrisy has bothered me for a long time. Stop spending my money to get people to stop, when you are the vendor. Smoke or get off the pot.
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