My grandmother had emphysema, thanks to smoking (which seems ironic in light of my post). It was quite an effort for her to get out of the house and go to a restaurant or the community center, but she’d look forward to it for days. So it’s no wonder I can’t help but empathize with people who’d not be able to enjoy an evening playing bingo with their friends because their health, whether they’d brought it upon themselves like my grandmother or not, didn’t allow them to tolerate smoke.
Sure, my grandmother didn’t have to go out to a restaurant, but after weeks alone at home with just my grandfather for company, that trip out meant a great deal to her. Just as my grandmother didn’t have to go to a restaurant, smokers don’t *have * to smoke there either. Both groups could choose to dine elsewhere (though good luck finding a place that you’ll be allowed to smoke in anymore, I know), and smokers have the ‘advantage’ of being able to visit a non-smoking place and then take a break outside. Gram couldn’t exactly wait to breathe until the main course was over. As for going to the community center, there was even less choice there. Having only the one center in town meant that if they’d allowed smoking, Grams would have been stuck at home. Not everybody lives somewhere there’s a choice of places to go.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate smokers and don’t want to see them persecuted. The idea of legislation to not allow smokers to smoke in their own cars, or homes in some situations, is not something I’m comfortable with at all. I would have liked to have seen a compromise with the bingo hall. Unless smoke would make the place unusable even on the days smoking wasn’t allowed, why not do that?
I can’t speak for Otto of course, but if I were going somewhere and engaging in criminal activity, even though said activity wasn’t exactly horrible, I doubt I’d be upset about wasting resources. It’s a law, it’s enforced, I lose out, but thems the breaks. Now, I don’t claim I wouldn’t be upset to lose my fun little criminal activity, but I wouldn’t be angry the law was being enforced.
I’ve always wondered if there would be as much opposition to smoking in public if cigarrette smoke smelled like chocolate chip cookies baking or something. Ages ago I read an article or was it a book? about a city that had added something to the fuel used in it’s buses so that the exhaust smelled like perfume. The author of the article, and for a while, me for that matter, completely missed the fact that while it might smell nice, it was still a nasty pollutant that damages people’s health. I know I don’t object at all to the occasional pipe smoker when he chooses that tobacco that smells sort of sweet.