Saturday, June 30, 2007

Smoked out

Thank goodness the smoking ban is almost upon us. This is the best bit of legislation we've had in this country for ages. As you may have guessed, I don't smoke. That has not always been the case. However, as an ex and now non-smoker, I find smoking more repulsive than ever. My mother was a heavy smoker. She stopped several years ago because if she'd carried on it would have killed her. She can hardly breathe now. Just getting up from a chair makes her more out of breath than I get after running several miles. My father-in-law was a heavy smoker. He died of lung cancer in a follow-through from throat cancer. As an ex-smoker, I know how compulsive and addictive it can be. Because of this, I cannot blame people who find it hard to give up, although in my own case I managed to stop by simply not buying any more. Society is very contradictory in its approach to smoking. I walked into my local Tesco's today to see prominently displayed on the counter packs of giving up smoking kits - which was good. The only trouble was that cigarettes were being sold from the shelves behind. So what's your message Tesco's? - do you want people to stop or not!! Seems a bit like the Salvation Army selling beer to me. I travel to Scotland two or three times a year. Since they've had the smoking ban, going into a busy pub has been a much more pleasurable experience, to say nothing of not leaving with my clothes stinking of smoke any more. I have a bee in my bonnet about people who smoke in cars. I find it utterly ridiculous that I could be fined for eating an apple or taking a drink while I am driving, but it is perfectly OK to drive around with a red hot tipped tube in your hand venting smoke all over the car. If you accidentally drop it you could easily have a panic situation and loose control of the car, let alone the distraction of lighting up while you are supposed to be concentrating on your driving. The law is an ass! Another concern is the increase in the number of butts we are likley to find littering our streets as everyone who wants to smoke will have to go outside. Of course, they won't use the bins. Smokers don't because they don't see dropping a tab end on the street and stepping on it as littering - which, of course, it is. I hate litter. I love Singapore, however. My wife and I had a holiday in Singapore three years ago. It was so clean. There were very strict anti littering laws as well as anti smoking laws (not to mention anti-chewing gum laws!) which were all rigorously enforced. Harsh punishment awaits anyone who litters or smokes in the wrong place in Singapore. This country, by comparison, is a filthy tip and it makes me sick. We need much tougher laws and more rigorous law enforcement to purify our society. I am sick of politically correct do-gooders who think we should treat everyone with kid gloves and try and understand the criminals. What the criminals need to understand is that we as a society have had enough and want to see these scum bags locked up for a term which means what it says - no early release. Perhaps its also time we brought back the death penalty, especially where terrorism is concerned. There - see what you've done! I started talking about smoking and ended up with the death sentence. Come to think of it, aren't smokers sentencing themselves to death anyway???

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