Anti-Smoking Movement Goes Too Far

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no smokingSmoking is bad. It's disgusting, and it will kill you. We know it; we get it. Those who smoke anyway don't think it's good for them, but they still choose to do so. Not ideal, but it's their life, and there's got to be a point at which we say enough. Enough money, enough energy trying to get people to stop doing what they already know they shouldn't be doing. A new law in Honduras is a perfect example of how the anti-smoking movement has gone too far.

According to an article in The New York Times, family members or even visitors can now call the police on someone for smoking ... in their own home. Offenders would get one warning, and then be faced with a hefty fine and jail time. What a way to start a serious family feud.

The recently passed law also bans smoking in schools, gas stations, nightclubs, restaurants, bars, buses, taxis, stadiums, and cultural centers -- pretty much anywhere but in one's home. And while it's not banned in homes, you can get in trouble for it.  So if you can't smoke at home, then you're kind of screwed when it comes to your nicotine fix.

I don't want smokers anywhere near me, and I cringe at the thought of children and others being exposed to secondhand smoke, but unless a country is going to outlaw cigarettes completely, then there has to be some room left for personal choice.

The new law also requires cigarette manufacturers to put pictures of cancer-filled lungs on each pack of cigarettes. Good in theory, but again, it goes too far. If that's required, then shouldn't potato chip makers have to put pictures of fat people on their bags? Shouldn't wine makers be forced to put diseased livers on each bottle? And couldn't the money required for such initiatives be better spent on cancer research or health care reform or some other cause?

If such measures would really make smokers stop smoking, that would be one thing, but at some point, the saturation of messages and extreme methods are going to make smokers tune it all out. Maybe it would be better if we just hired the mom who took Robert Pattinson down for smoking to organize a big international posse to go after unsuspecting smokers one by one.

Do you think people should be able to call the police on people smoking in their own homes?


Image via Xurble/Flickr

bad habits, general health, cancer