The Crime of Public Cigarette Smoking
By Thomas Emmon Pisano
I would hazard to say that tobacco smoking in public places is the subtlest form of physical assault there is, and at times it seems more deliberate. It is one of the most thoughtless things that people do to one another here in New Orleans. It is the little things in life, which need our constant scrutiny. Most smokers do not care about their stink and subject those around them to their poisonous and noxious gases, which irritate the eyes, leave odors in our hair and clothes, and cause our lungs to be contaminated by secondary smoke. Many cigarette smokers are fairly conscience of their filthy habit and some are, through the power of their addiction, un-caring of the health and well-being of those near by.It has to do with the basic uncaring nature of our modern society; we just do not care anymore. Our individual comfort and pleasure is all that is important. Many years ago we stopped teaching our children manners and etiquette. We failed to teach them discipline and self control. Our children missed the message concerning common courtesy. They run through life with the attitude that "the most important thing in life is me, the rest of the world be damned." They do not consider for a moment the damage perpetrated upon our society by such self-indulgent practices as tobacco smoking. It causes damage, such as, adding to the green house gasses effect and the creation of dangerous chemical pollutants that are equal to those of automobile emissions. One third of the people on this planet use tobacco. This contributes to the destruction of our earth's atmosphere. Two billion people burning poisonous chemicals and putting these gases into our overly taxed air supply. Our air is not an endless thing, it does have limits, and even smokers need oxygen. These chemicals are absorbed into our air filtration systems and our electronic devices. Cigarette smoke destroys almost everything it touches. Every hour tobacco smokers around the world expel pollutants into our precious air supply, day in and day out. I use to think that we would be ankle deep in cigarette butts, but this thing is worse than I ever thought it was, our atmosphere, our air, no, our lives are being affected constantly by this problem. People come to New Orleans with the attitude that this city is wide open and it is a hedonist's playground. Since the city government does not enforce the smoking laws, laws which were passed to protect those of us who do not smoke from smokers and their abuse of public spaces, the citizens who are offended must take matters into their own hands. We must speak out at rally's and at out door events with placards and petitions. We must send a message to city council and state government alike telling them that our lungs have rights too. Many places, especially bars with restaurants and other eating establishments almost refuse to honor these laws and blatantly ignore these public health regulations. Places like ENVIE on Decatur Street. This establishment does not enforce or support the public smoking ordinances, a fairly common practice here in the French Quarter of the Crescent City. Consider this, BIG TOBACCO does not help with this worldwide problem, they only pretend to present solutions, this is good public relations. They work hard through their lobbies and use their subtle influences in and through popular culture. The tobacco companies are fighting hard to keep us addicted to their poisonous products. Tobacco addiction is at epidemic proportions throughout the world. I was going to cite a bunch of statistics to show how poisonous second hand smoke is, but I decided against it. Basically, you all know the dangers of cigarette smoking. Most people know when they are wrong and they know when they are doing a disservice to those around them. We must renew our basic commitment to our fellows. The world is so overwhelmed by our actions, this means we have to pick the problem that is closest to home and solve those serious social diseases as they arise. Tobacco abuse is as serious as a problem gets; we need to address this problem as if it were the tip of the iceberg. Just what is going on here in New Orleans, the enforcement of important laws are being over looked? I personally, would like to go out and not eat cigarette smoke with my meal. Every day each and every one of us must fight for his and her personal freedoms the law is for all and not just a few. We passed these laws to protect the innocent from the perils of poisonous second hand smoke.
|Anti-smoking Ad —|
An antismoking public service messages featuring Brooke Shields in 1980. The ads featured the scantily clad underage Shields and sexually suggestive slogans. The American Lung Association took over the campaign for smoking cessation to carry an important message to the young women of America.
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Mr. Thomas Emmon Pisano, an electronics-engineer-turned professional writer, serves as US correspondent for The Seoul Times. A New Jersey native he has lived in California. He has started his writing career in 2003 and has authored four books including “No Murder Too Small” and Big Crimes Small Miracles.”