It’s Not Fair!

“…targeting smokers disproportionately harms poor people”, said a medical ethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, as reported on “Harms poor people”! Really! 

Smoking, like any other addiction, is a choice. This psychobabble, taken seriously, like most modern psychology, traps people. Smoking keeps poor people poor, not to mention harms their health. Cancer sticks burns a hole in the pocket as well as their lungs! They don’t really need smokes, although the addicted ones think so. They are wrong! 

And there’s the matter of “fairness” that smokers and their advocates harp on. Nobody is making smoking illegal; just a condition of employment!  An employer has the right to create such as policy! Employers’ reasons are far from arbitrary. 

Here’s a bit about fairness: 

Some smokers clearly show the entitlement mentality. An encounter I had with a smoker about a year ago at a fast food restaurant in Bristol, PA, illustrates the gimme gimmee mentality.  As I pulled into a parking space at the place, a young guy, who seemed to come out of nowhere, slipped behind me, and went around my car and stood about ten feet from my driver’s door. As soon I exited the car, the guy asked if I had a cigarette. I told him no – that I don’t smoke. “Can you give me ten bucks for a pack of cigarettes?”, he unabashedly asked. “No,” I unequivocally said. “When I become an old as* see if I give you anything, the punk snarled, as he walked away. “You need to change your attitude,” I replied. His ignorance grew. “F*** you,” this intellectual spouted. 

To some, smoking is a religion, the god of this age. Although now I know that before a smoker opens a pack and taps it against his/her palm countlessly the purpose is to better pack the tobacco, this still strikes me as a ritual.  Many smokers religiously light up, like a panting deer drinking water at a stream. 

Maybe the ACLU could fight an employer’s prerogative to not hire smokers on religious grounds. After all, it is a de facto religion to some! They worship at the church of Sister Nicotine and The Holy Smokes. Johnny Smoke, a hired gun, is an evangelist for the church. 

I’m always been puzzled when I see homeless people smoking.  Although they can’t afford a place to live, and have trouble getting food (although in Lower Bucks County, PA, between the state and benevolent people, they usually are provided for) they manage somehow to find cigarettes.  To save money, some of them make their own.  But some stoop to picking butts off the ground and out of ashtrays. What I don’t think is right, fair is for others to fund, support unnecessary, even harmful habits. Smoking is a personal choice. If they would rather use their money for cancer sticks rather than food or shelter, then that’s their choice. Not on my dime!  

To learn about the life of the homeless, including the propensity of some in this population to worship at the church of Sister Nicotine and The Holy Smokes: