In defense of smokers

It is disingenuous for anyone who drinks alcohol to support the oppression of smokers.

I don't smoke and I also don't drink. I don't like the taste of alcohol and I don't like the idea of drinking. Yet, while smoking is fresh out of political favor, drinking is sanctioned by popular culture, so it is safe from the whims of those who seek to impose their will on others and their feeble pleasures.

Well, of course drinking wasn't always safe, and I'll get back to that.

But, as a non-smoker and non-drinker, which of the two poses a bigger threat to me? Which can cause people to abuse family, friends, and others? Which can cause drivers to run down pedestrians and other motorists?

No, I don't suspect there are many drunkards out on Douglas Avenue during rush-hour, so I'm probably safe on my afternoon walk. There are also no cigarette-dealer gang territories that I need avoid. Or, at least, there won't be any such territory until cigarettes are sold entirely on the black market.

Imagine a person of the Left held a gun to my head (the Left is actually very much in favor of guns at long as it's the state wielding them, although Stalin and Mao seemed to favor the efficiency of starvation over wasting the bullets). The ultimatum I'm given by this gunman: I must concede some liberty for the good of the state and erode either the freedom of drinkers or smokers. Which would I pick? Drinkers. No contest.

Smokers pose no threat to me whatsoever. Do I like their habit? No. Would I be happier if no one smoked? Yes. Do I pine for the days when restaurants had a smoking section? No. But freedom is not about me exclusively. I don't feel entitled to take away the rights of smokers simply because I find smoking disgusting.

I also don't want to take away the right to drink. But if you support any attacks on smoking and you partake in drinking, please have the nerve to admit that you don't care about other peoples' rights. You care about yourself and the smokers can go to hell.

You can either be a progressive/prohibitionist and outlaw both (well, outlaw is such a strong word, how about you just tax them into submission?) Or you can—reluctantly like me—tolerate the habits of both groups because some day they will find something unseemly about your own habits. And then what will you do?

This sort of there ought to be a law prohibiting... line of thinking worries me. It's just sugar and caffeine away from hitting home. What will it take for a country, any country, to seriously embrace individual liberty and not waver for at least the remainder of my lifetime?
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