Thursday, 27 December 2012

Smoking. Human Rights and Cutting off your nose to spite your face.

That benign despot, Archdruid Eileen of Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley fame, has something to say in her latest rant (post), on the subject of official interference in our lives.

In this case it was a notice/sticker in a car demanding that we all give up our anti social filthy habits (smoking that is) in our own cars.

Like the Archdruid, I do not smoke (now), but there is nothing more likely to make me take up the filthy weed once more, than the demand that I give it up.

Just who actually appoints these guardians of public morality to their exalted positions.  Who are they.  And, and, why is their chosen modus operandii (way of life that is), better in every way than ours?

It seems to me that every way we turn, on walls, over doorways, on posters, in cars, there are exhortations to do this or that, or refrain from doing  this or  that, to  the point where it suddenly becomes imperative to do the opposite or  turn to  a pillar of salt.

Once, many moons ago I was - hush, whisper - a smoker.  Yes, even I, pillar of moral rectitude that I am, was once a slave to the obnoxious weed.

Frankly I smoked from the age of 17 to  the age of 37.  No, I am not proud of the fact and yes, it did have a detrimental affect on my throat and lungs.  It was indeed stupid, and finally I was able to give up.

At that time, the harmful habit was not known (by most people) to be potentially dangerous, publicity was for not against, smoking and few people cared what the rest of the population did.

Since then, along with virtually every other pleasure it has been first condemned, then prohibited then made illegal in certain situations.  All of these actions have been made with the greater benefit to the population at large in mind, and are, in my opinion, a good thing, but there is a cut-off point, and that point is where the freedom of the individual comes into play.

No-one, in my view, should be allowed to indulge in an activity which is detrimental to the well being of others, but, where the activity is in a controlled and private environment and the only person likely to suffer ill effects is the perpetrator, then the right to do what they choose should be inviolable.

So in conclusion the right to cut off your nose to spite your face, smoke yourself to death, drink until you drown, or bungee jump without enough rope, should be unassailable, by even the most avid tub-thumping, hectoring protester.

Long live freedom say I.  Even if it kills you


  1. I know what you mean about personal freedoms being important - with your important caveat "as long as it doesn't harm anyone else." Unfortunately I remember many days of travel when I was a teenager and a passenger in the back seat of a car where my mum and step-dad were smoking in the front. One good thing though, it put me off smoking for life! A Guid New Year to you when it comes. Freda from Dalamory

  2. Hi Freda. I'm glad you see what I was trying in my satirical way to imply.
    It is not that I would necessarily choose to do any of the things I mention, but would most fiercely defend the right to do so, should I wish.
    Like you, I have been a passive smoker, my father smoked a pipe!
    When I was smoking myself I would use him as an 'example'.
    Believe it or not, he gave up at the age of 82 saying he "didn't want it to become a habit".
    Since he somehow contrived to live to 96 I think he must have bought himself extra time.
    A Guid New Year to you and yours too Freda.