Smokers’ rights lobbyists tend to paint their situation as the tip-of-the-iceberg of loss of individual freedoms followed by histrionic rhetoric about what’s next. We’re already well past the tip and are likely someone about 2/3 to the bottom of the berg. There’s a huge list of laws and Supreme Court rulings that have cut into our liberties and smoking is just one more. In the big scheme of things it doesn’t register much in importance compared to many others.
I have zero sympathy for the plight of smokers and less for those who continue to delude themselves that smoking isn’t that dangerous. I just got back from taking my mother to chemotherapy. In a few months she is going to die from small cell lung cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes and kidney. In a few months I will go through the same thing that I went through with my father a year ago who died of the same lung cancer, the one associated with smoking. With my mother I am hoping I will not have to look into her eyes, tell her I love her, tell her the pain will stop soon, then motion to the nurse to disconnect the respirator- like I did my father.
My parents grew up at a time, stated earlier, when the Army gave away cigarettes, movie stars always had a cigarette fashionably in hand and tobacco companies told lie after lie about the dangers of smoking. They truly didn’t know any better. To listen to people whine about their rights just because they can’t control infantile self-indulgent behavior is too much. For god sake, eating a cheeseburger is not the same thing as smoking.