July 23, 2010
How many more growing menaces do we need?
In the course of perusing the relatively new research implicating "third-hand smoke" as yet another dangerous carcinogen, alarm bells went off in my paranoid brain, and as I hope my worries are misguided, I thought it merited a blog post.
An article in the OC Register ("Should smoking be banned in apartments?") -- which linked a "scientific" policy recommendation in the New England Journal of Medicine -- forced me into a sudden, ugly realization.
PROHIBITION IS COMING!
Here's what the NEJM scientists advocate:
Exposure to tobacco smoke in the home can be avoided fully only through the implementation of a complete smoking ban.11 Mitigation measures such as the use of fans, air filters, and separate smoking rooms are ineffective.59 Ridding public housing of tobacco smoke would keep such settings in step with the trend toward no-smoking policies in workplaces, private housing, and even private vehicles.60I am not in a position to know whether the research into "third-hand smoke" is legitimate, but no one seems to have questioned it. Is there still peer review? Or is there just a gigantic anti-smoking bandwagon of biased, government-paid activist "scientists" like Stanton Glantz, backed up by busybody bureaucrats of one sort or another, continually ratcheting up their war against tobacco?
My worry is that unless they are forcefully opposed, what activists want, activists will get. Especially when they can point to dangers to children. Or animals! (Seriously. That last link only dealt with "second-hand smoke," but with the "third-hand smoke" meme fast sinking in, pretty soon the animal control bureaucrats not only be refusing to allow smokers to adopt dogs and cats, but they'll be wanting to verfify that the buildings they're going to are "smoke free" (meaning no one is allowed to smoke there).
It is no longer enough to ask smokers to step outside; safety conscious landlords, parents business-owners and homeowners should never allow anyone who has smoked to enter their premises, period!
At first, there was talk of second-hand smoke as being dangerous. Now research has established that there is such a thing called third-hand smoke and it's just as dangerous, making a lit cigarette dangerous to the smoker and all non-smokers that come into contact with him or her, long after the cigarette is put out.I did check it out, and as usual, it's all about The Children!
Third-hand smoke a danger to babies, toddlersYes, so says Brian Williams in a video report I did not watch, but which I'm sure is intended to make me want to do something to save The Children, for God's sake!
Smokers are increasingly not allowed to adopt children and in the United States they are often denied custody in divorce cases. And naturally, "Many animal rescue groups do not allow their pets to be adopted by smokers unless the smokers agree to smoke outside only." (I'm assuming that will have to be enforced with home visits. No wonder the activists seek to ban the sale of pets. Evil unsupervised smokers might buy them!) However, I did find at least one veterinarian who takes a more liberal approach, and simply advises that "if you have a pet, I recommend that you go outside to smoke."
Hmmm.... In view of the dire threat from third-hand smoke, perhaps I should not allow any smokers to come in contact with Coco! (And you know, I'm thinking that it was not helpful to make light of a very serious situation by putting a cigar in her mouth....)
Because of the uncritical way the human mind operates, this stuff is inherently relentless, and I think prohibition is coming. First it will be de facto, but eventually, there will be real laws with teeth.
Of course, in the dismal worldwide economy, this will present unprecedented black market opportunities. Already, cigarette smuggling from Russia and China into the heavily-regulated EU countries is a multi-billion dollar industry. And it's helping the economies of the poorer countries!
China is the biggest source of counterfeit cigarettes, but many are also smuggled in from the former communist bloc including Russia and Ukraine, the commission said.Here in the U.S., cigarette smuggling generally involves moving the cigarettes from places with low tobacco taxes to places with high tobacco taxes. Quite predictably, the black market in cigarettes is such a huge business that there are mass arrests, and the usual pre-dawn raids. It goes without saying that the feds are involved:
An indictment was filed in federal court on Tuesday by the United States attorney's office in Scranton, Pa., officials said. On Thursday in predawn raids across the city, on Long Island and elsewhere, state, city and federal officials moved to round up the suspects, according to one official.And the more they crack down, the tougher and more determined the criminals will get. Guys like Al Capone know an opportunity when they see one.
It gets a little tedious to be pointing it out over and over again in blog posts, but it never ceases to amaze me that this country has a perfectly good model of where it all leads.
The Prohibition Model, dammit.
Why don't the bastards learn? Is it that there's something wrong with the way the human mind works? Is it that our ruling class is unable to learn from past experience? Or might I be missing something?
Could it be that Prohibition suits their interests?
posted by Eric on 07.23.10 at 11:20 AM
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