07 January 2009

Cigarettes: Now With Third-Hand Smoke!

First there was mainstream (or first-hand) smoke from cigarettes, and the government forced the tobacco companies to put warning labels on the cigarette packs so that smokers would realize how dangerous using the product is. But that wasn't enough.

Next there was second-hand smoke. The smoke that comes off of a burning cigarette was determined to be super-scary dangerous, and this led to various smoking bans on both public and private property. That's right, just being near a smoker suddenly became too dangerous to patrons and employees alike. But that wasn't enough.

Now the nanny-statists have a new scare tactic with cigarettes: Third-hand smoke. Even when a cigarette is no longer burning and being smoked, it is infecting everyone and everything with the residual nasties that were generated by the first-hand and second-hand smokes.

Third-hand smoke is what one smells when a smoker gets in an elevator after going outside for a cigarette, [Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School] said, or in a hotel room where people were smoking. "Your nose isn't lying," he said. "The stuff is so toxic that your brain is telling you: 'Get away.'"
Got that? If something stinks, even after someone is done doing whatever causes the stink, it's your brain telling you to get away from the toxic stink. So, when I go into the bathroom after a fellow employee drops a deuce, am I potentially going to be able to sue my employer for allowing me to be exposed to toxic stink? When I go to the mechanic and I smell all of that residual exhaust, am I potentially going to be able to sue the wrench jockey for exposure to the toxic stink? When I'm stuck taking the bus because my car is at the mechanic's shop, and I need to breathe in all of that diesel exhaust as the busses pass by, am I potentially going to be able to sue Metro Transit for exposure to that toxic stink? When I'm winding down at the end of the day and I smell the smoke off of the neighbor's fire, am I potentially going to be able to sue my neighbor for exposure to that toxic stink?

This is just getting stupid. It is more of the nanny state trying to pry their way into our lives to force us to act how they want us to act "for our own good." The problem, no matter if the intentions are good or nefarious, is that the state will most likely be using this silly little study to further take away our liberties and freedoms.

Now, I know that this hasn't led to further smoking bans, but that is only because the study hasn't been circulated enough. Once the "common knowledge" is that cigarettes are harming (and potentially killing) kids and other non-smokers just by having been smoked, the smoking bans will move to outdoor smoking areas at public and private workplaces, and eventually the private car and the home.

I'm not sure that cigarettes will ever be banned, though. The tax revenue created by tobacco is very alluring to the politicians, and if they can allow the product to be sold legally, and then fine the smokers if they are caught actually using the product, well that would just be fiscal nirvana for these busy-bodies.

I hate nanny statists.



Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Just one more thing for the government to control...we all know what's next.

USMC 9971 said...

Free Pop-Tarts? Please say free Pop-Tarts is next, Joe.

Smiley said...

Hey you know whta I still think the marlboro man is cool. Can i sue the government for making me a live in a nanny state and overprotecting me so that i cant defend myself from idiots.

USMC 9971 said...

I don't believe that you can sue the government, Smiley, but you might have a case against the anti-tobacco groups that have pushed this agenda.

I've decided to help the economy and irritate these idiots by purchasing a humidor last weekend. It should be ready to use by the middle of next week.

I love cigar blowing smoke in the faces of these worry-warts.