I Guess That We Are Supposed To Call This Progress


I can vividly recall my mother sitting at the kitchen table having her daily pints of brew and sucking one cigarette after cigarette until bed time. She didn’t even light filter tipped cigarettes, preferring non-filter tip “Buckinghams” if I recall the name correctly. Our house reeked of tobacco, and it is still incredible to me that none of us other family members came down with lung cancer.

Educated sources tell us that second hand smoke is more lethal than ingesting those toxic chemicals and byproducts of combustion, through the filter tip of the cigarette.

I also remember flying back and forth to and from Hong Kong trying to hustle a living by trying to invent the first digital interactive real estate application that ultimately proved too challenging for me to master (than God my partner came along and could handle the challenge despite having no formal education in computers) and having to fight for an up front seat to avoid the thick blue clouds of cigarette smoke at the back of the plane.

The reason that I had to fly those torturous flights every month (back and forth) was because we had built a great “show” (interactive multimedia presentation) but failed to realize that we couldn’t get it off of the PC we built it on (CD-Roms and memory sticks still hadn’t been conceived and thus were not available).

Back then smoking was permitted on planes, in buildings, in restaurants and bars as well as pretty well anywhere someone chose to light up.

So I guess we are supposed to feel reassured that today most of these environments are “smoke free”.

Quite frankly I think they should have left bars as smoking areas and created other air tight environments where people choosing to work so hard at killing themselves could congregate and enjoy each others company while inhaling all those lethal chemicals embedded in those sexy burning white sticks.

And it’s not like we don’t know the hazards of smoking. Yet millions on millions world wide choose to light up and challenge the odds while our insurance for continues to be financially challenged by cancer cases (I think smokers should have to pay additional for OHIP because I don’t understand why we non-smokers should be financially responsible for people choosing to put themselves at such high risk of disease).

My issue really isn’t with smoking as much as it is with so many people smoking on the street. Today you can’t smoke in buildings so everyone congregates on the street out front for their numerous “nicotine hits” during their day.

The concept of “going out for a breath of fresh air” is literally something of the past!

Don’t get me wrong  .  .  .  .  .  I couldn’t care less if smokers want to eat razor blades!  I just don’t want them stuffing them down my throat!

If someone were standing on a street in Toronto with a gun and shooting at people that walked near them, our laws would prohibit said conduct, but they are fully within their rights (now there’s a topic for another day!) yet they are empowered to stand there sucking on their cancer sticks and spewing their lethal exhaust into the faces of everyone else on the street (knowing that second and third hand smoke is as or more lethal that inhaling the toxic fumes through the so-called filter at the end of the cigarette).

I strongly  believe that everyone should have the right to do whatever they want but that they should have to face the consequences of their actions themselves as opposed to passing the buck on to the rest of us to pay for their self-inflicted illnesses.

A recent landslide ruling in Quebec (after a decade of a half in court) requires three major cigarette companies to face $15 Billion in damages, which might suggest progress but you know it will be appealed and a whole new crap shoot will play out over the next decade and a half or so.

Big money means big troubles for anyone challenging the legitimacy of the perception of one’s “rights” qualifying them to spew death and destruction with every cancer stick onto innocent bystanders.

My recommendation is to make it just as illegal as marijuana!  I’ve never heard of “Medical Nicotine” or any benefits whatsoever associated with smoking.  Just death and medical self-destruction yet cigarettes are legal and available at pretty much every street corner.

But let’s throw all those cannabis smokers in jail and give them criminal records to screw up the rest of their lives!  I haven’t seen any credible studies that even remotely suggest (I said “credible studies”) that marijuana is harmful but it remains illegal while having been proven medically beneficial.

And should we touch on the effects of alcohol?  Again millions of people suffering significant medical illness as a result of alcohol not to mention the millions of families suffering dysfunction and the destruction of families, thanks to booze, it is legal and available in Government stores throughout the city (we are making some progress many say due to recent talks about even making it available in corner stores).

And we call this progress.  Doesn’t this make you think?

I’m Charles


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