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The Forum > Article Comments > Standing up to the anti-smoking bullies > Comments

Standing up to the anti-smoking bullies : Comments

By David Leyonhjelm, published 30/12/2014

But there are some people who remain fair game smokers. Which is why, anywhere you see a smoker, you will find a bully lurking not far away.

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I've recently returned from a trip to Italy, which is about ten years behind Oz in smoking reduction, and on several occasions my companions and I were annoyed and inconvenienced by having to breathe other people's foul-smelling smoke on stations, on the street -- and at bus stops. At Christmas we were visited by several smokers, and every time they came in after their outside indulgence, they brought in a waft of stench on their clothes and hair. It wasn't life-threatening; it wasn't traumatic; but I would have prevented it from happening if I could.

And this is what we are seeing here; people who object to a minor annoyance attempting to stop it. If there was some offsetting good resulting from that minor annoyance, then there would be some reason to prevent them; but since there isn't, it's quite reasonable to try and suppress it altogether. And while I have sympathy for those who are genuinely addicted, there are many medical interventions now available to prevent them emitting annoying substances in public.

Some people enjoy spitting on the floor. But we as a society have decided to view that with disapprobation, and now the few remaining people who want to do so usually seek out isolated spots where they won't offend or annoy anyone by doing it. Hopefully smokers will get the same message.
Posted by Jon J, Tuesday, 30 December 2014 5:44:52 AM
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Thanks for the good article David.

I smoke.

I like how you informed that smokers pay 17 times the health costs imposed onto the public. I'd understand if they wanted to charge double, in a effort to re-educate people on the dangers of smoking but 17 times is too much.

Government sanctioned theft.
Just like the fuel tax.

So, I'm paying for other's doctors visits, for them and their kids.
The very same people that would turn their nose up at me actually benefit financially from me.

I was born early 70's, a teenager mid 80's.
Back then cigarette advertising was everywhere, and on everything, and government profited from that advertising both in tax on advertising revenue, tax on smoking and people taking up smoking from that advertising.
Both my parents smoked at that time, and nobody stopped me as a 12 or 13 year-old going into Coles and purchasing Peter Jackson 15's for 85cents.

Times changed.

From my early's 20's until my early 30's I'd get asked for identification, and felt a little insulted always being asked when as a young teenager nobody cared.

Recently my brother has given up cigarettes and started vaping.
He buys his stuff from overseas sellers on ebay as the government doesn't allow the sale of larger quantaties.
He thinks they are trying to stop people taking up vaping because they are protecting their income.

I believe in freedom and liberty for everyone, so I understand that my smoking affects others, and try to be respectful.
But non-smokers also have to be respectful of others right to freedom as well.
It was the government who directly profited when and since I first took up smoking.

The government cares about the income it makes from me, but come election time it sells me out and capitalises politically from the people who demand change.

So to the people who want change I ask -
Haven't you taken enough from me?
Why don't you just come and help yourself to my wallet like you have done for the last 25years?
- And then whinge at me too?
Posted by Armchair Critic, Tuesday, 30 December 2014 9:58:47 AM
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I am with Jon Jon
.
Smoking is a disgusting habit that intrudes on the personal space of those in the vicinity. The weed truncated my father's life by probably 20 years. At least he didn't smoke in our home so at 84 y.o. I am already ten years older than he was when the emphysema and heart problems linked to his habit caused his death.

Has the senator been reading too much Ayn Rand and accepting her rubbish as a sensible guide to life? Too many American have done that and as a consequence, in a German study of social justice in 31 OECD countries, the USA only rated better than Greece, Chile, Mexico and Turkey. Thatcher was wrong. Human beings are as much team oriented as individualists. Society does matter!

Hopefully the preference system will have a better outcome next Senate Election and the author will be a "oncer".
Posted by Foyle, Tuesday, 30 December 2014 10:03:39 AM
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Well, this is a case of the bullies 'bullied'.
For years, non-smokers had to suffer the consequences of smokers' addiction to nicotine, the fact is that passive smoking is dangerous and under the harm principle, smoking should not be allowed where it affects the health of others.
Smoking is restricted, because running red lights is restricted, the health of the nicotine addict is not the main issue, but the health of the public is. Whining about the tax impost on smokers is ridiculous and the justification that passive smoking should be tolerated because the environment is already polluted is specious.
Consulting adults are free to smoke as much as they like, so long as non-consenting adults and children are not exposed to the toxic effects.

The author is really drawing a longbow.
Posted by mac, Tuesday, 30 December 2014 10:19:28 AM
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No amount of tobacco taxes could ever cover the immense cost to our nation for the medical bills for smoking related illnesses.

There is no such thing as 'anti-smoking bullies' , who should instead be referred to as intelligent non-smokers!
Posted by Suseonline, Tuesday, 30 December 2014 10:45:28 AM
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I sure expect a higher standard of debate than this author has brought here today.

He was strong on assertions, on claiming non-existent rights and stirring of the metaphorical pot, but very weak on rational argument, persuasion and effective communication.

Speaking of persuasion, the dear Senator made clear at the outset and reinforced throughout that he is not open to discussion on this topic - his mind is closed and he is beyond rational consideration of contrary opinion.

Are these the ideal attributes of a Senator of the Commonwealth of Australia?

At least he is consistent - he consistently plays the role of the bully when discussing firearms and smoking. I wonder what other topics he brings his neanderthal, uncritical, antisocial, unintelligent, inflexible and loudmouthed approach to... no, I probably do not. I can happily get by without interacting with such as Senator David Leyonhjelm.
Posted by JohnBennetts, Tuesday, 30 December 2014 12:02:19 PM
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