February 3, 2011

Fumes Over Smokers' Rights

Today during Hot Topics, Whoopi Goldberg was outraged at the New York City Council for passing a new ordinance, beginning in 90 days, against smoking in many public, outdoor locations. 

The new ban, which passed with a vote of 36-12 will prohibit cigar, cigarette and pipe smoking in 1,700 city parks and 14 miles of public beaches. It also includes any boardwalks, marinas and pedestrian plazas such as Times Square and Central Park, and violators will face fines up to $100.

Whoopi did not hold back in expressing her frustration with "being treated like some sort of damn criminal."  She is tired of smokers being disrespected and feels they should be given designated smoking areas to accommodate their nicotine fixes.

I personally can't stand the smell of cigarettes.  When Illinois enacted the smoking ban in all public buildings, I was super excited.  It's so nice not to go to a restaurant and have to worry about sitting too close to the smoking section, and I love being able to hang out with my friends at a bar without having to worry about my hair and clothes reeking of that awful stench. 

The only apartment I've ever lived in was in college, on a smoke-free campus.  However, I would be furious if I moved into an apartment where my neighbors were puffing away and it was seeping into my home.  Why should I have to live that way?

In my opinion, before these bans, us non-smokers were disrespected time and time again when people would choose to light up in front of us, forcing us to breathe in their toxins.  If you want to harm your body, go ahead, but you shouldn't have the right to harm mine.

If you want my whole opinion, I think cigarettes should be illegal.  Even in moderation, they are dangerous (unlike alcohol), and the only reason they are legal is because there are a bunch of wealthy white men getting even richer off them (and they bring in a lot of tax revenue).

I'm sorry Whoopi, but I say Kuddos to you, New York City Council!  I hope many other cities follow your lead.

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