This is an example of the state interfering with everyday life.
I’m a smoker. I have been for the last five years. I used to smoke socially at the start when I was a heavy clubber and drinker - what you would describe as social smoking. In recent years, though, it has grown into something of a habit. I’m now smoking in my back garden, on my walks when I’m trying to lose weight and specifically outside pubs and bars when I’m sipping my diet coke.
As we know from recent news, smoking outdoors in pubs and bars is going to become increasingly more difficult. Five councils in England including Northumberland, Durham, North Tyneside, Newcastle and City of Manchester have all banned smoking on stretches of the pavement where pubs, bars and clubs put out tables. Oxfordshire is planning to follow suite and also Gateshead.
I can certainly see the cause of the argument. Smoking is the biggest cause of lung cancer and heart disease and passive smoking increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. You certainly wouldn’t want a cute little baby to be inhaling all those fumes that come out of a cigarette butt. Not to mention it stinks like Cruella De Vill leather and cigarette butts in my back garden make an almighty mess.
When or if I have kids, I would certainly discourage them to smoke just like my dad and mum discourage me. My mum smoked at university and my dad has now switched to eco-vapes, but still smokes the odd fag with me in the back garden.
What I am wholly against is the idea of banning smoking outdoors. I know that smoking indoors was banned in 2006. That was for the better as there are babies and children inside pubs and the whole place stinks and there were risks of fires. Outdoors, yes, you get babies and kids and it still stinks in the ash trays, but wouldn’t it be better to impose a smoking corner in a pub for a smoker to light up their cigarette away from the crowds of others and the prams so they don’t passively smoke?
You see, smoking is an issue of choice. Just like it’s one thing telling people a film is morally reprehensible and bankrupt and trashing it fair n’ square. It is a mark of totalitarianist governance to actively stop people from seeing it. Why? Because people should have the choice of what they watch or don’t watch.
It’s what women having abortions have to make. I can encourage a woman to look at other options, but the choice always has to be with the woman as it is her body she’s going to have to carry that baby in. Again. Look at same-sex marriage. That’s the choice of two gay men or women choosing to marry. They should have as much of a right to that choice as straight people do when they choose to marry.
We need to look at smoking outdoors the same way. By banning it, you would removing the right and choice to smoke. It’s an example of the state infringing on personal choice and opinion. That’s the mark of a nanny state or a totalitarian government. We should be listening to the government telling us smoking kills, but we shouldn’t be adhering to their plans to intervene and remove our everyday right to smoke. That’s an example of government growing too big.
Meet Roshan Chandy
Freelance film critic, journalist and writer based in Nottingham, UK. Specialises in cinema.
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