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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

GBE2 Blog on: Balance

a lit cigarette in an ashtrayImage via Wikipedia

GBE2 Blog on: Balance...

I have been looking at the subject of Balance and wondered just where my wandering and wondering mind would take me. Should I look at the Rugby World Cup tournament that has  been unfolding here in New Zealand during the last four weeks, or look at something far more constructive as a subject. No, they don't wear helmets or extensive body padding in rugby. Ha ha!  I've found one. That dirty filthy habit of cigarette smoking.

Hey, what a damn hypocrite, Peter, you smoked for 32 years, didn't you? Yes indeedy, I did smoke that damned filthy weed for 32 years. As a consequence I can discuss this subject with  a little authority.

I totally support the policies of our New Zealand government in relation to the purchase and control of cigarette smoking in our country. They are tryng to deter smoking through increasing  taxation,  public controls on advertising and where smoking  is allowed.

New Zealand has led the world on many social issues over many decades, and did again by introducing smoking bans  a number of years ago in licenced premises such as hotels, bars, clubs and restaurants. A number of countries have followed suit, including your State of California.

New Zealand like our very close neighbours, Australia, has  used  some pretty strong anti-smoking language and images  on cigarette packaging outlining the health issues of smoking. The next phase is to introduce plain packaging to prevent company advertising.

So where does Balance come into the debate? As a blogging friend on another site suggested as we were having a private conversation about smoking in the United kingdom, human rights comes into the issue. As I stated the issue is now one of protecting non-smokers rights to have a non-polluted environment, against the so-called rights of smokers.

So 'balance' does come into the debate and smokers have to accept that society now disapproves of smoking in public and private buildings. Non-smoking adults and children have a basic human right  to live in a non-polluted environment, while smokers have a right to smoke outdoors as long as they do not pollute the atmosphere of non-smokers. Naturally those who live on their own have the right to smoke indoors.

I would support smokers being able to sit on a park bench and smoke a cigarette, whether a tailor-made or rolled tobacco cigarette, as long as they put their butts in a container provided, or take them away with them. This right would  be negated if a non-smoker is also sitting at the same park bench. Smokers should have the right  to smoke outdoors on their own properties. This is, in my opinion a balanced compromise to ensure the human rights of both smokers and non-smokers are protected.

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Daniel K. Martin, Esq. said...

This does seem like a balanced solution. As a smoker I am frequently surprised by how everybody wants to limit my rights as they grant more rights to non-smokers. Here in California you cannot smoke in a park, including the outdoor mall. That is just ridiculous.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

I agree that the balance has swung to non-smokers. Not being able to smoke in a park is ridiculous, provided receptacles are provided for smokers to put their butts and rubbish away. As I have tried to point out, we need a balance in all facets of our lives.I understand public bans on smoking in bars,clubs and restaurants, but not in the open.