Re: Michael Nightingale’s letter on smoking. “Letters” 2-28-14. Michael talks of obfuscation, but it doesn’t seem to bother him to make out and out false statements. “We have known for fifty years that air pollution was carcinogenic.” If that is so, than why did the World Health Organization make its study? Further, if you knew, then why did all of the governments, media and anti smoking fanatics of the world attribute all deaths in non smoking people from cancer to second hand smoke?
Michael, you used the word “harmful” several times in your description of second hand smoke. How in God’s name is it possible to prove that statement when second hand smoke is such a miniscule percentage of overall air pollution?
No, I am sorry Michael, but what occurred here was that the Surgeon General of the United States contrived a report that was blatantly false and the biggest lie of the century was created because non smokers who were annoyed by cigarette smoke jumped on the band wagon. And because they were annoyed, they backed the segregation of smokers from just about everyone, supported the verbal abuse of smokers and worst of all, backed the draconian taxation of smokers, which is what the entire issue was all about in the first place.
Now that the W.H.O. has let the cat out of the bag, everyone is in denial that they did anything wrong.
Michael, it is true that many smokers were rude about their smoking. I had no problem with separate seating in restaurants, or no smoking in public buildings. Even the smoking rooms in airports didn’t bother me, although like you I was “annoyed” by it, but when they removed them all together things began to get out of hand. Before you knew it, there was no smoking in parks and beaches and people were being forced to sell their condominiums because a neighbor complained of smoke coming out the smoker’s window and into theirs. (This occurred in the Midwest of the U.S). They put a smoking “area” way down by the engines of the trains in the Hua Lampong train station, even though the entire train station is permeated with diesel fumes. Ditto for the Morchit bus terminal. In Taiwan I had to check out through immigration to go outside for a cigarette and then come back through immigration again to catch my connecting flight. Yet all of the duty free shops were stacked mile high with cigarettes for sale.
I could go on with this into infinity, but it is enough to say that you were duped by the U.S. government into believing a lie so that they could tax cigarettes beyond all reason with the backing of two thirds of the population. The tax on a pack of cigarettes in New York is now over four dollars a pack. Of course the “monkey see, monkey do” Thai politicians soon adapted the ploy and cigarettes went from fifty baht a pack to eighty five baht a pack over night. And they were all able to do this because they had the backing of fanatics.
Michael if you want to live in denial, which your letter indicates you do, then do so, but please cease the lies, because you are only giving governments the backing they need to continue to extort money from smokers. If you want to say that cigarette smoke is annoying, say it all you like, but kindly cease and desist with using words such as “dangerous, harmful and cancerous”. That may or may not be true if it applies to the smoker, but that’s his business, not yours.
Lastly, allow bars to decide whether or not they want to allow smoking or not. Give back everyone’s choice to decide for themselves what they want to do. In other words, strike down the “Michaels way, or the highway” law.