Friday, 21 December 2007

The Anti-Smoking Brigade

Okay, first of all I'd like to say that I don't smoke, I never have, and I'm not interested in taking up the habit. That out of the way, I'd like to go on to discuss some of the ideas of the very "anti-smoking" people.

In context: I recently downloaded the audio of the "Four Horsemen" discussion between Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris. This debate was actually set in Christopher Hitchens' house. Because Hitchens smokes, there was a lot of comments on the thread about smoking if rather off topic. There were a few people on this thread arguing that Hitch shouldn't be smoking in this video.
This was a completely over the top reaction. As I already said, this debate took place at Hitch's own house. I think the man is entitled to a quiet smoke in his own house. And the other people agreed to be there; if they didn't want to expose themselves to Hitch's smoke they could have just left.
One person on the thread even went as far to say that it should be banned, and even said that smokers should effectively be shamed and shunned until they give it up. In my opinion, people have the rights to their own bodies and thus the right to smoke cigs if they want to. I know that passive smoking happens(and you can make a good case for smoking not occurring around children) but if you're a rational adult you choose to be in the company of a smoker, especially in these days where smoking is banned in places like bars, restaurants etc.* Yes, I know one often inhales a little bit of passive smoke from walking by a smoker, but I really doubt that that little exposure is going to give you cancer. It seems many people are very "if i get exposed to the tineist bit, it's going to fuck me up!" Okay, it isn't going to do you much good, but you probably get exposed to more crap from exhaust engines than from that much fag smoke.

Complaint over for now. I'll definatly have more to say about the Four Horsemen debate as soon as I get a good piece done.

* As I've said in other blog entries, I'm British, and the smoking ban in public places came into forse on the 1st July 2007.

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