Een commentaar in een toonaangevende krant in San Francisco is een van de eerste tekenen dat de Amerikaanse media schoon genoeg beginnen te krijgen van de drammerige en steeds extremistischer anti-rokenbeweging. Deze krant, die zich in het verleden altijd achter de anti-rokers heeft opgesteld, somt de plaatsen op waar Californische rokers inmiddels bij wet niet meer gewenst zijn: parken, bushokjes, openbare pleinen, treinstations, tuinen, speelterreinen en zelfs hun eigen achtertuinen zijn inmiddels taboe.
Nu de anti-rokers ook pleiten om het roken in de auto met kinderen te verbieden gaan ze een stap te ver volgens de commentator. Genoeg is genoeg.
“Enough of the nanny state. Leave these silly rules alone — and leave the smokers alone with their nasty habit.”
So, for the privilege of hunkering down in a dark alley or, lighting the Weber grill to distract neighbors from the whiff of nicotine, Bay Area smokers continue to exercise the perfectly legal right to smoke. But did we mention the cost of such bad behavior? A November initiative proposes to raise California’s cigarette tax by 300 percent, making it the highest in the nation. Take that, you terrible, terrible cancerites! (And you small, pitiful corner-store retailers.)
We don’t approve of smoking. Decades worth of research have proven conclusively that it creates horrible health risks, despite what tobacco companies would like us to believe. As evidence and disapproval has stacked up, the number of smokers has gone down: 84 percent of Californians are non-smokers.
But now that smokers have found themselves decidedly marginalized in California culture, sanctimonious non-smokers are attacking them with a vengeance verging on obsession. What in the world does the Dublin City Council, which recently declared secondhand smoke a public nuisance (likely leading to smokers’ looking left and right before lighting up in their own backyards), think it will gain from making small-claims lawsuits easier? Does Assemblyman Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood, really believe that the CHP has nothing better to do than hunt for smoking drivers with children in the backseat? Do the rest of us really want the societal headaches that come with this sort of lifestyle micromanagement?
I do think that the backlash is beginning. Unfortunately, the tobacco control groups failed to listen when the fanaticism was called to their attention. They didn’t want to hear about it and so they silenced me. They simply didn’t want to hear about it. Now I’m afraid it may be too late. The movement is out of control and the consequences are going to gradually unfold.
This is just the beginning.
San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Calls Out Fanaticism of Anti-Smoking Movement; Backlash May Be Starting (Commentaar Dr. Siegel)