Friday, March 21, 2014

stricter smoking regulations

Not so different from a lot of other communities, I imagine, my home town's health board approved new smoking restrictions last night. As a smoker, I found myself mildly irritated by what I could recognize as a potentially healthy choice.
As of June 1, smoking will be prohibited in public and private clubs, workplaces, city parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, swimming areas, nursing homes, within 25 feet of city buildings, all outdoor areas of restaurants and bus stops and taxi cab waiting areas.
Idly, it crossed my mind:
  • I wonder whether, since cars both kill people and spew toxic emissions, the use of automobiles might also be restricted in public places.
  • Is there a demonstrable line beyond which Jeremy Bentham's "greatest good for the greatest number" runs out of benevolent steam?
  • Since I do what I can not to expect others to agree with me, I do sometimes wish they would extend me the same courtesy and step out from behind the miching veil of "we" and "one" and "our" and all the other group-hug means of protecting themselves from the responsible honesty that goes with the word "I."
  • Living life is demonstrably bad for your health. If it weren't, nobody would die. (This statement assumes -- perhaps with too much enthusiasm -- that death is considered an undesirable event.)
My thoughts, of course, cannot hold a candle to the sincere and caring arguments for shaping and nourishing the public weal. They are just my thoughts in the face of the desires and sometimes needs for public policy. Gotta protect the kids; gotta protect the adults; gotta draw the line somewhere; gotta fend off a painful anarchy ... OK, I get it.

But I also have some sympathy for my irritation.


  1. And at the same time, our government conspires to promote genetically modified food.