WHENEVER a proposal is made to ban almost anything, there are always people who will bang on about losing their human rights. If ever there was a hackneyed and frequently misused expression that is surely one of them. A total ban on almost anything does not work, but what we must all realise, cigarette smoking KILLS and anyone with a death wish is perfectly within his rights to kill him/herself. But they have no right to kill me. Therefore cigarettes should be banned in those places where the smoke can be blown in the faces of others i.e all public places, offices should provide a separate room where smokers can kill themselves, restaurants should provide areas where smoking is prohibited. One of the worst places for non smokers are lunch counters or bars where your next door neighbour never thinks to ask you if smoking bothers you. If you do mention it, you are assaulted and told either that it is not illegal, or it is within their human rights! No, total ban cannot work, but rather a growing awareness among smokers of their social obligation not to kill others.
When America first started their campaign against smoking, I remember being at a party where I was the only smoker. I was made to feel (in the politest possible way) that my behaviour was unacceptable. Also what most people don't realise, is that smoking not only causes cancer, but asthma, emphysema, heart attacks and blocked arteries. None of them pleasant ways to die. She who writes is an ex smoker suffering the consequences of my own stupidity. I can only say in my defence that my generation was told that smoking steadied the nerves.
However, I never lit up without asking if my smoking disturbed, a courtesy that many could adopt.
Join the campaign to regulate smoking, not ban it.
Helen Courtney Lewis