Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Obama is a smoker . . .

For decades now, the public has been inundated with “scientific evidence”, allegedly proving that tobacco is the most toxic substance in existence. To the anti-smoker fanatics, smoking is the only impediment to man’s immortality. The perceived threat is so great they’ve made it their life’s work to eradicate the scum responsible for the continuation of the lethal habit; smokers.

Smokers have been branded as murderous maniacs, bent not only on their own self-destruction, but in spreading death and disease to family, friends, co-workers and even complete strangers.

Smoking around children has been defined by many as “child abuse”. Smokers in many jurisdictions have been denied the privilege of adopting or fostering children. In others, they can be thrown out of their homes. In a growing number of cases, employers are free to discharge workers who smoke – on or off the job. They can be required to submit to gross intrusions of privacy, such as providing urine or blood samples.

And, then . . .

Just as the vilification of smokers reaches its zenith, a smoker is elected to the Presidency of the United States. Uh-huh. It’s being reported around the world; US President Elect Obama is a smoker.

And, even if he has quit as some claim, his smoking status can’t really be denied. He has admittedly smoked over one hundred cigarettes in his lifetime, and he’s reported to have been smoking a lot of OPs (Other Peoples) over the last couple of months. No. There can be little doubt he qualifies as a current smoker.

The question is: does it matter?

Likely, it will offend anti-smoker crusaders who might tend to view him as the enemy in their ever-escalating war on smokers. After all, they can’t have kids running around telling their parents or teachers they want to grow up to be president and smoke. No. Smoking makes him a bad role model. He’ll have to follow Michelle’s advice and quit.

The anti-smoker crowd will really get their drawers in a knot if he should become the poster boy for another minority.

But, will the fanatics take their terror tactics to the very steps of the White House? Will they demand he do his smoking outside, in weather fair and foul, as they now do to the old and infirm in hospitals and rest homes? Will they demand, after he’s sworn in as the new President, that he subject himself to the indignity of pissing in a bottle every morning to prove he is not endangering White House staff with his secondhand smoke?

No. It’s pretty clear the anti-smoker brigade will not attack Obama with the same ferocity they attack the more vulnerable members of society who choose to smoke. After all, the President Elect has seen the light and become a quitter. Or at least, he’s trying to be; struggling perhaps, but still trying.

They’ll most likely try to coerce him into quitting, for both the public good and his own. There are drugs available to help him kick the habit. And, that’s a whole lot more scary than a smoking President. Think about it.

What if the zealots convince Obama to try Zyban or Chantix to help him quit? Both these smoking cessation drugs have been associated with mental disorders and suicidal ideation, among other side affects.

It’s one thing to risk the mental health of common smokers or have them blow their brains out. Any anti-smoker will tell you we’re expendable and not among the most healthy segment of society. It’s worth losing a few of us if some of us quit.

But, Obama is about to become, arguably, the most powerful man in the world.

Does anyone really want to run the risk that he might become the first president in history to leave office in a straight-jacket; or worse, the first president ever to commit self-assassination? It boggles the mind.

Let the man smoke. For all our sakes.

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