Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ban this, MoFo

NYC has just passed a law that will prohibit smoking in parks, beaches--but not sidewalks, streets, parking lots, and private homes...yet--and other public places, starting May 23rd. Let's put aside the loopholes in its enforcement--it won't be the cops' responsibility but the Parks Dept who, if you cannot produce a valid ID, cannot give you a summons and thus have to arrest you, which, btw, they have no authority to do--and let's look at the hypocrisy involved here.

Plenty of smokers are pissed and rightfully so. At the core of this negativity is not necessarily being unable to smoke in yet more areas, but feeling singled out for an unhealthy habit, yet drinkers--who when driving drunk, actually kill people in a much quicker and tangible way--don't face the same stigma. I don't have much of a problem with outdoor smoking bans when they are reasonable (restaurants, for example) but enacting it in bars was a ludicrous decision made by former smokers who are now anti-smoking zealots, plain and simple. Newsflash: NOTHING healthy is going on in a bar; everyone there is POISONING themselves w/alcohol. And there's plenty of that idiocy and hypocrisy in the way they've handled this new twist.

You want to tax the hell out of cigarettes and make them $12 a pack? Done. But how 'bout we jack up six packs of beer, along with wine and spirits? No? Of course not. Why? Well, for one, NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg and his lifestyle police would be guillotined within minutes of enacting such a thing. And let's not get into the grand hypocrisy that no one wants to bring up: why can't I buy cheaper cigarettes from out of state vendors? What is the ultimate goal: to make people quit or raise revenue to pay for alleged health costs? 'Cause you can't have it both ways by raising the price of cigarettes as an incentive to quit and then penalizing those who choose not to quit and want to buy them elsewhere. Hell, they even the balls to try and sue sovereign territories over which they have no domain! (Yes, Indian reservations.) This bullshit double standard is what pisses smokers off. And, for the record, many non-smokers are upset at being welcomed at their corner store by those garish anti-smoking posters. "I don't smoke and I don't need to see 'em; put them by the cigarette-vending area, not by the front door, damn it", complained a friend recently.

A while back, when one of the more recent cigarette taxes was enacted, I had this to say about it:
As anyone who’s seen the smug wine-and-cheese crowd in the media condescendingly turn up their noses at the mention of smokers—it seems we are just slightly less disgusting than Bin Laden, pedophiles, and OJ Simpson—this tax increase is one of the more elitist, bullshit moves I’ve seen in my lifetime. Let’s make it fair, non-smokers: how about, from now on we tax a six-pack of Bud so that it costs $24 at the corner bodega; a bottle of cheap wine or spirits a minimum of $50. Hey, a sin tax is a sin tax. And the economy could sure use a jolt, right?

(Btw, this is going to fuel mob-related cigarette bootlegging like never before. I never thought I'd ever say this but, I'm rooting for La Cosa Nostra on this one.)

And, as fellow blogger Rambler recently stated, "No one ever had one too many cigarettes and killed a family of four on the way home from the bar. "

Fuck you all, you arrogant, patronizing, hypocritical assholes. You know who you are.

Still stand by every word.

2 comments:

  1. I wouldn't be comparing the two things. The big problem about smoking is that even those that are not involved in the act of puffing are affected by the second hand smoke. If i'm in a bar sipping from a glass is only me who's going to suffer in the long run. One cigarrette, one simple cigarrette can mess up the lungs of everybody on that bar or room.

    The park and beaches thing is a bit ridiculous in those instances were somebody is smoking in an isolated area with nobody around. But for example, if you are smoking in a crowded area, people are going to get sick.

    I respect your opinion, and you have to definitely stand against that that is going to affect you, but smoking is a pretty expensive vice, it is expensive to cover the costs of buying those packs, and pretty expensive too when it comes to using the healthcare to take care of people that have messed up lungs, because of smoking or second hand smoke.

    Smoking in crowded areas is one of the most obnoxious things I have ever seen, I'm glad that it was ban at bars and clubs, because since that I haven't come out from those places smelling like tabaco.

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  2. If you are not at home, but "in a bar sipping from a glass" you are part of a collective of people poisoning themselves. It's not like there's water and juice mainly being consumed: liquor, beer and wine is what people go to bars for; nothing else is consumed. My basic argument is against hypocrisy. Why should cigarettes be banned from a place where NO ONE is consuming anything but poison. And a poison that has--especially when driving is involved--the potential to kill many people on the spot. An as simplistic as it may sound, the above quote nails it: "No one ever had one too many cigarettes and killed a family of four on the way home from the bar."

    As for the cost of consuming cigarettes, you can't tax the crap out of smokers AND take away their rights to smoke in public, non-contained areas. Can't have it both ways.

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