I took my first puff of a cigarette when I was 15 years old. It was so cool to smoke then and practically everyone did, from teens to parents and even grandparents. It was socially acceptable and in fact, encouraged as a great stress reliever.
Boy, have things sure changed!
Not only is it now unacceptable to smoke, smokers are made to feel likeÂ social outcastsÂ whose only goal is to kill others with their second-hand smoke. No longer are people allowed to light up in work places, many metres from the entrances to hospital, bars, hotels, football stadiumsÂ and anywhere elseÂ designated as a place where the public gathers.
As well, some companies refuse to hire smokers and have threatened current employees with dismissal, even if they smoke at home. Also, some doctors are refusing to treat patients who smoke and are (here in Canada) threatening to refuse surgeries to smokers.
The next step of lobbiest is to take away a smoker's ability to light up in their own car or even their own home!
While I realize that the health hazards are now proved and that cigarette smoking is a dangerous habit, it is beyond me to understand why we are now so blacklisted in society. No one told us of the dangers, before we were hooked so many years ago.
And what really frustrates me is that there are places drinkers and drugÂ addicts can go to get treatment, but there is absolutely nothing like that for smokers. Yet, it is a known fact that smoking is a very strong addiction. Yes, you can contact the Cancer Society, and get information and so-called tools to help you quit. You can buy nicotine gum, patches and God knows what else,Â but the bottom line is that you still have to "get over it" yourself.
While the aforementioned things areÂ enough to get some people off cigarettes, there are those diehards out there, like me, who actually enjoy a good puff. I have spent good money on several things, including acupuncture and hypnotism in an effort to stop. This won't do it folks! And all the bullying by non-smokers won't help either. If anything, it makes me so nervous that now I really need that smoke!
Here is a notice I just got from MyChoice.ca about their Bibby Awards:<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="600" align="center" border="0"><tbody><tr><td width="134">
June 8, 2006
The votes have been cast, and mychoice.ca is pleased to announce the recipients of its first ever Golden Bib Awards.
The winners were selected by you, our members. The nominations in each category were chosen because they demonstrated the following "nanny state" qualities:
- unfaltering confidence that they know best;
- uncommon zeal in trying to save us all from ourselves;
- achievement in setting new precedents that increase the ability of our betters to impose their personal wills on our private lives and choices.
There were five categories: "Best Nanny Government," "Best Nanny Municipality," "Best Nanny Organization," Best Nanny Individual" and "Best Foreign Nanny."
The winners will be sent a Golden Bib plaque.
To view the entire list of nominees in each section, click on the link for each category.
And the winners are...
Best Nanny Government:
The Bibbie goes to the Liberal Government of Ontario, for ignoring its own economic experts along with smokers, charities, war veterans, bar owners and anyone else who will bear the brunt of its actions, and rushing through its province-wide anti-smoking ban with only token public hearings. And for also ignoring their own ministry reports which show major negative repercussions from a province-wide smoking ban - possibly up to $500 million a year in gaming revenue losses as well as more than a thousand jobs.
The NDP Governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba and the Conservative Government of New Brunswick for continuing to pretend they know best and that their province-wide bans, have not hurt bars, charities, casinos etc, or divided communities, or left smokers seeking alternatives on First Nations Reserves or staying home in droves.
Best Nanny Individual:
The Bibbie goes to Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman, for never reading an anti-smoking lobby claim or study he didn't like or hearing an anti-smoking argument he didn't agree with, and for apparently never reading any other studies at all â€“ even his own government's economic ministry reports, or listening to the opinions of anyone who might contradict his opinions. Mr. Smitherman also gets nominated for officially extending the justification for smoking bans from protection of the general public to trying to punish smokers into quitting.
Mr. Smitherman's Quebec counterpart, Quebec Health Minister Philippe Couillard, for all the same reasons as him, plus the fact that he is on the record as saying smokers have no rights because they are under the influence of a substance.
Best Nanny Municipal:
The Bibbie goes to the City of Kingston, Ontario, for banning both indoor and outdoor patio smoking.
Best Nanny Organization:
The Bibbie goes to the Ontario Coalition for Action on Tobacco for not being satisfied with winning a provincial law that kicks smokers out of private clubs, Legions, charity bingos, separately enclosed and ventilated DSRs everywhere, covered patios, underground garages and more. Soon after the law was passed they were vowing to get the law amended to ban smoking on patios, nine meters from any doors, in cars, private homes, and more.
The World Health Organization for its alarming and offensive new employment policy to no longer recruit smokers. Anyone who says they smoke and would continue to do so if hired, will not be invited to an interview.
Best Foreign Nanny:
The Bibbie goes to the State of California because it got the total indoor ban rolling and is trying for the second time to ban smoking in cars, on beaches and anywhere else it can think of.
The Michigan health care company Weyco for decreeing that employees who smoke would be fired if they did not quit smoking, and then firing four workers who refused to submit to testing to see if they had been smoking on their own personal time away from the office.
We'd like to thank members for voting and for helping us recognize those who best exemplify the "Nanny State."</td><td width="10">Â </td></tr><tr><td>Â </td><td colspan="2">Â </td></tr></tbody></table>
Despite all the hype against smokers, I'm quite sure I will be taking my final puff within seconds of being lowered into the ground. I know. I should know better. I've heard all the lectures from family, friends and doctors. I am an honest to goodness socal outcast, but as my mother used to say: "If I have to die, damn it, I'm going to die happy!"
(No lectures please!!!)