Been called out

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Editor;

I had hoped the debate was over, but John Neilson has called me out in his missive of Apr. 4th; “”No right to force smoke on others”.

Firstly, I never said that second hand cigarette smoke was not harmful. What I said was that the danger is miniscule compared to that of automobile and industrial smoke. The people who are attacking me seem to continue to want to miss that little detail.

As for forcing you to endure our smoke, exactly where is this happening? The government has banned smoking in all public buildings, theaters, transportation and depots, including smoking rooms, which were inflicting smoke on no one. It has banned smoking in parks, if you can figure that one out, and it has banned smoking in restaurants and bars. So exactly where is it that you are being assaulted by smokers?

This debate started because a gentleman said that bars were not adhering to the no smoking law? The reason they are not adhering to the laws is because the government has no right to tell private business how to run their business. They have hurt restaurants and bars with legislation forced by people such as yourself. Business should succeed or fail based on their own judgement, not yours or the government’s.

A few years ago I was in Siam Paragon and not wanting to “force” my smoke on anyone, went outside to have a cigarette. As I sat on the stairs puffing away, I noticed that people would get startled at seeing me smoking and walk well wide of where I was sitting. I thought that was kind of strange because not fifty feet away was Sukhumvit Road jammed with cars and trucks for miles and miles and pouring smoke into the atmosphere. If you took every cigarette smoker in the world and put them in front of the shopping center, they still couldn’t match the amount of poison being released into the atmosphere by the traffic, yet people were afraid of me.

This is the brand of logic coming from the anti-smoking advocates and this is why the governments of the world were able to tax us into oblivion. If smokers are guilty of forcing anything on anyone, then let’s cite the millions who drive automobiles in this country also and let’s place a pollution tax on gasoline also. I’m certain that the government would love that idea. But this is the sort of thing that happens when people start telling others how to live rather than just avoiding them if they are annoyed by their habits.

John Arnone

Yasothon

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