Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The hoax of secondhand smoke

The secondhand smoke scare is perhaps the biggest hoax in the history of the civilized world. The public is being conned into believing that SHS has been conclusively proven to cause cancer, heart disease, depression and a whole host of other diseases.

The often outrageous claims of the anti-smoker brigade are charged with emotionalism designed to justify bans on smoking. No claim is too egregious. Common sense has been discarded in favour of scientific fraud and political expediency.

Smoking bans are not designed to protect anyone from the unproven health hazards posed by secondhand smoke; they are designed to penalize and denigrate smokers.

Check out the following items from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Ontario’s Smoke-Free Ontario Act.

“The ban on smoking in an enclosed workplace is in effect at all times, even during off-hours when people are not working”. If there is no one working, who is there to protect? If a cleaner is mopping the floors in a building at two in the morning, with no one else around, and stops for a smoke break, who is he hurting other than maybe himself?

“An employer may choose to accommodate employees who smoke by providing a smoking shelter outdoors. An employer who provides an outdoor smoking shelter must ensure that the structure consists of no more than two walls and a roof”. Elsewhere in the Act, a wall is defined as “a physical barrier of any size, capable of excluding rain or capable of impeding airflow, or both”.

If the smoking area is being provided for the benefit of smokers, why does the Act insist that they be exposed to the elements on two sides of the structure? Wouldn’t non-smokers be better protected by an enclosed smoking shelter? Why is it necessary that smokers be exposed to rain and the elements?

“Smoking is prohibited if an outdoor patio has a roof, even where the roof partially covers the patio. A roof includes an awning, tarp, canvas sheeting or other permanent or temporary covering that is capable of excluding rain or impeding airflow, or both”.

Why does the Act specifically require that smokers not be protected from the rain or snow?

If patios are considered safe for non-smoking staff, provided they are not equipped with a roof, why are there attempts being made to ban smoking in other outdoor areas such as sidewalks, parks and beaches?

The answer to all of these questions is easy. These articles in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act are not designed to protect non-smokers; they are designed to persecute smokers; to make them as uncomfortable as possible. They are part of a well orchestrated vendetta being waged against smokers to force them to quit against their will; to deny them the privilege of choosing for themselves whether to smoke or not.

And, the public is buying into the propaganda. Even many smokers are prepared to shoulder a false feeling of guilt and surrender to the health scare professionals who demand the right to decide what is best for them.

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