Friday, May 15, 2009

Steppin' out for a smoke

Here's an interesting take on prohibitionism from an interesting source:

English musician and Berlin resident Joe Jackson explains why he’s delighted Germany’s smoking ban appears to be unravelling faster than a self-rolled cigarette.

Having lived in Berlin for the better part of three years, I’ve been asked to write something about my ‘right’ to smoke here. But I’m not sure I have one. The real question, I think, is: who has the right to forbid me to smoke, and on what grounds? Consider the following:

(1) Tobacco is legal in Germany.

(2) Smokers are adults.

(3) Smokers contribute enormous amounts of tax revenue.

(4) Pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants are private property.

(5) If some people don’t like smoke, this is a matter of taste and therefore for the free market to sort out, not the government.

(6) A decent modern ventilation system can render smoke virtually unnoticeable.

(7) ‘Second-hand,’ or ‘passive’ smoke hurts no one anyway.

Every aspect of our personal lives is being dictated, more and more, by unelected and unaccountable bodies like the WHO or various bit of the EU bureaucracy. If you don’t smoke, you may think it’s none of your business. But don’t kid yourself. If you’re a few pounds ‘overweight,’ or drink more than two government-defined ‘units’ of alcohol per day, or eat ‘unhealthy’ foods, then you’re next in line to be scapegoated and stigmatised, denied health care or insurance, denied jobs or housing, forbidden to adopt children...the list is growing daily.

Read Jackson's entire column at The Local.

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