I had an argument with a colleague on air the other day. Not so much an argument as a heated discussion. New York has abolished smoking in public. As in anywhere. Inside, outside, on the pavement, in the parks, in cabs, restaurants, churches, kids play schools…anywhere you can think of smoking they have banned the good denizens of Manhattan and its surrounds.
In fact should you wish to light up a hit, the only place you can do so is your house. Which means if your bridge-and-tunnel people in NYC you are going to be driving a far way in order to get your fix of nicotine.
My colleague couldn’t believe this. How could those that govern the city even think of taking these poor peoples rights away. These people who wanted nothing else but to light up; breathe smoke into their lungs, my lungs and yours in public. Poor dears. The violation of human rights here, according to Gen was nearly incalculable.
I told her I thought it was a damn good thing. It needed to happen. Personally I am tired of walking through the streets of Cape Town and having to hold my breathe when I walk past someone who has just breathed out their latest puff of grey smoke into the very clean air I was about to take a gulp of.
Dont get me wrong. It’s not a secondhand smoke / cancer argument I am putting forward here. Its a choice to smoke and those that do know the risk and rewards that go along with that. Totally fine by me.
Rather its the invasion of my space by your smoke. Your stale smell. Your expelled cloud in my face. Your choice resulting in my immediate atmosphere being clouded by something I did not choose.
Its akin to me walking around and slapping people through the face. It was my choice to do it. You weren’t expecting it. But damn it made me feel better and quite frankly I am slightly addicted it. Until of course someone says I cant; in which case I will gladly hope in my car, follow you to your house where it is legal and slap you there.