Friday, October 19, 2007
Cigarette Smoking, Obesity, The Nanny State
The park district board voted unanimously Wednesday to pass the ban. It takes effect immediately.
The penalty for violating the ban is a $500 fine.
Enforcement relies on citizens to turn smokers in to police.
Proponents of the ban say it's a matter of public health.
"I have a lot of sympathy for smokers, but not when second-hand smoke affects the health of other people," Park District Superintendent Tim Mitchell said.
Proponents also say cigarette butts and filters damage the environment. During a three hour cleanup of city beaches last month, they say they found some 35,000 butts in the sand.
A young mother, who often visits city play lots, is all for the ban.
"Especially with a toddler who picks up everything and puts it a lot of times, in his mouth," Susan Sholty said.
Park District Superintendent Tim Mitchell sounds like an anus, doesn't he? Just how exactly does second-hand smoke, outdoors...outdoors!...negatively affect the health of others?
Nor can we expect Susan Sholty to accept any degree of parental responsibility for overseeing the actions of her toddler. Why, what kind of barbarians are we? It seems like Susan Sholty wants society to act as the omnipotent babysitter for her little bundle of protoplasm, lest "it" put a cigarette butt in "its" mouth. Hey kid, go for the dog turd, it's a creamy Baby Ruth candy bar, really, really - it is!
Meanwhile, This Is London is reporting that obesity is far more harmful to one's health than is cigarette smoking:
Obesity is more dangerous than smoking and will dramatically shorten the lives of millions, a landmark study has found.
While smoking reduces life by an average of ten years, the research says being seriously overweight can cut life expectancy by as much as 13 years.
The Foresight report, written by 250 leading scientists, says Britain's obesity crisis is so severe that it would take at least 30 years to reverse.
The effects of this on the nation's health will be devastating. The report expects type 2 diabetes to rise by 70 per cent, strokes to go up by 30 per cent and a 20 per cent rise in coronary disease.
The rates of certain cancers will also go up.
The associated chronic health problems will cost an extra £45.5billion a year, more than half the amount of money that goes into the entire NHS at the moment.
The Foresight study warns that the majority of adults are already overweight and that being overweight is now seen as "normal".
It's time that society started treating the gluttonous crowd as social outcasts, the same way that society treats cigarette smokers. If you see someone who's obese - I'm not talking just a few pounds overweight - we should tell them to drop the donut, don't swallow that forkful of pie, put down the cake.
Treat the fatties like the pariahs that they are. Shame them, embarrass them, just like cigarette smokers have been treated for the past thirty years. After all, we're doing nothing more than looking out for their own health and the good of society.
What really needs to be banned from beaches, parks and especially playgrounds is the consumption of alcoholic beverages. There is no doubt there should be a "No Tolerance" policy. We are sending the wrong message to the little, wailing blobs of protoplasm that it's "OK" to drink booze in public.
I wonder if Park District Superintendent Mitchell or Susan Sholty are obese or boozers? Both vices need to be condemned as much as is cigarette smoking. We need the Nanny State now, more than ever. We need the government at all levels - federal, state and local - to tell us what we can and cannot do, what we can and cannot smoke and what we can and cannot eat or drink. Some little blob of protoplasm might see us doing something and get the wrong idea, and damn, we just can't have that.
Labels: No Smoking
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