Friday, April 11, 2008

Dispicable discrimination against smokers

The 1993 study conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the WHO study conducted in 1998, along with many other studies before and since, have been unable to prove a definitive cause and effect relationship between secondhand smoke and lung cancer, heart disease or any other disease.

All that was proven was that a relationship might be possible. These studies simply showed that there was a slim statistical possibility that secondhand smoke might slightly increase the risk of being affected by “smoking related” disease.

According to the Non-Smokers Rights Association of Canada, 1000 people died last year from exposure to secondhand smoke. But, they offer no evidence; nor can they. It simply doesn’t exist.

The NSRA, and many similar organizations, are irresponsibly promoting fear, hatred and intolerance and advocating discrimination against smokers. Many recent initiatives go far beyond any credible claims of protecting anyone’s “rights”:

  • Efforts designed to deny a smoker’s right to hold a job
  • Proposals to deny smokers a right to rental accommodation
  • Initiatives to declare smoking parents child abusers
  • Efforts to deny smokers appropriate medical treatment

These are morally reprehensible acts, not to be tolerated by any “free” society.

Many in the anti-smoker brigade will tell you they didn’t initiate these practices. And, that may be true. But, their efforts to “de-normalize” smokers, has created the climate of fear and intolerance which allows these practices to be introduced and tolerated within our “free society”. Members of the anti-smoker brigade, meanwhile, stand on the sidelines and cheer.

Defenders of a free society should strive for compromise achieved through reasoned debate, not the imposition of the “will” of the majority; especially when that will has been suborned by corrupted science, deception and outright lies. True democracy defends the rights of the minority; it doesn’t deny or trash them “in the public good”.

Today, it’s a ban on smoking in bars and Legion halls, tomorrow it’s a ban on smoking in cars and the day after that, the erosion of personal liberty will reach into the sanctity of the home. Today, it’s smokers; tomorrow it’ll be drinkers and the obese.

And, the non-smokers in the house shouldn’t get too complacent or convince themselves that it’s not their fight. It’s no longer about smoking or secondhand smoke.

Those who condone, and in a growing number of cases, support the initiatives of tobacco prohibitionists; who condone or support discrimination in housing, employment and medical treatment should be very cautious.

Anti-smoker, anti-fat, anti-abortion, anti-alcohol; all these obsessions challenge personal liberty and individual rights. Those who support the repression of free choice may wish to re-evaluate their position when it’s their turn to be pilloried for making a particular lifestyle choice.

If anti-smoker fanatics are allowed to continue, and even intensify, their attacks on smokers and the privilege of free choice, there is no telling who the next target will be.

For more information, go to:

FORCES International Round Table
A conversation with Dr. Michel Siegel, focusing on the iniquitous treatment of smokers instigated by the anti-smoker brigade

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