Anti-Smoking Movement Goes Too Far


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


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Zamaria Zamaria

I have smoked for 15 years. I just quit two weeks ago. The last thing I want is to be around smoke. It makes me crave a cigarette. But lawmakers are going way too far with it. If I don't want to be around smoke, I don't go places where I know people will be smoking. Kinda like an alcoholic doesn't go to a bar. It's not rocket science. I do agree that smoking should be banned in schools. But as for businesses, and homes, that should be up to the owner of that business or home. If people don't want to breathe smoke, they can choose other places to go. Just like I do!

mindi... mindiemoore

These anti-smoking laws are getting ridiculous. If someone doesn't want to go to a restaurant that allows smoking it is certainly their right to do so. Why should a business owner have to change their business for anyone? And yes I know people will say but I want to eat there or whatever and it's my right to eat in a smoke free restaurant but what about the rights of that owner to do as he pleases with his business? I don't like Chinese food but I don't go to a Chinese restaurant and demand they serve me a hamburger. And telling people what they can and cannot do in their homes is infuriating. I truly hope this never happens in this country.

Three... ThreeKidsEnough

Julie, I agree with you totally.  How much are we going to let the government intrude into our lives?  Let's say you are in favor of all the restrictions on smoking that the Honduran law imposes.  But what if you like to have a glass of wine at home and the next law in fact makes that almost impossible (rememeber how well Prohibition worked?)?  Or the current crusade to make us all eat healthy foods only (thank you so much Michele Obama)?  Maybe we should put pictures of clogged arteries on every package of Rib Eyes steaks that are sold or on every pachage of potato chips?  I may be doing something that you don't like, but that doesn't mean you can be Facist about trodding on my choice.  Now, I am one of those--I smoke.  But I am a very conscientious smoker, who doesn't smoke around those who have no choice about breathing my smoke.  Honestly, the current smoking restrictions in this country and my state are already pretty restrictive (not to mention the social stigma!). Let's at least  recognize each others' freedom, and live and let live.  Or else all of out choices will be subject to those who "know better" than us...  Thanks for your post.

momav... momavanessa

Just ban it already! It is bad for everyone and it should be illegal.

Three... ThreeKidsEnough

Momavanessa, thank you for illustrating my point!

devly... devlynsmommy

I am torn on this issue. people do have the right to choose what they do to themselves and their bodies. It is part of being an American freedom of choice. But, they do not have the right to make harmful choices to others. I think smoking bans in restaurants and different types of family establishments are a good thing and businesses should have the right to choose if they want to allow smoking. but what about children? they are too young to make there own choices and there parents make them for them. I think there is something wrong with parents that choose to smoke around there children. if you are outside that is one thing, but if you smoke in your home or in your vehicle and you have children, that is wrong. and i am of the belief that it should be punishable. I have asthma but i was not born with it. My parents made a choice to smoke in our home and in our vehicles and to also take us to a babysitter who also smoke in her home and vehicle. both me and my brother developed asthma and even though it is arguable if secondhand smoke caused our asthma, it did make it worse. the amount of asthma attacks i had living in a smoking environment vs living in a non-smoking environment is substantial. Now don't get me wrong, i love my parents very much and have a good relationship with them but even they admit that raising us in a smoking environment was a bad choice and they regret doing it and the affect it has had on my little brother and i

coffe... coffeeyum

People have ideas in mind already, but once that gory pic of bad lungs are on a pack it can turn someone or many away.

Momma... MommaGreenhalge

I'm a smoke hater. Seriously, it makes me ill. But people should not be told what they can or cannot do with their own bodies in their own homes. Now, I am really thankful that I live in a state where it is illegal to smoke in an establishment that allows minors. The only businesses that allow smoking are 21 and up establishments.

Hayde... HaydensMom178

All this anti-smoking crap is really going way too far, IMO.  Smoking is LEGAL-why are they banning it?!  As far as I'm concerned, I think it's enough to have separate smoking and non-smoking sections or even not having smoking at all in resturants (I don't mind going outside to smoke).  However, to ban it in bars and nightclubs is pretty dang stupid!  You really think that people who go to nightclubs and bars give a hoot about their health?  Heck no!  Otherwise, they wouldn't be falling down drunk and throwing up in the bathrooms!  Also, I've always been a fan of designated smoking areas.  Now, we don't even have those anymore-WTH?  Why take away the designated smoking areas when it wasn't bothering anyone?  If the non-smokers don't like the smoke, then.....just a thought......DON'T GO TO THE FREAKING DESIGNATED SMOKING AREA AND WHINE AND MOAN ABOUT SMOKE!!!!!!

Sorry, rambling a little.  I've got two points:  1. There is WAY too much government getting involved in our personal lives.  We are SUPPOSED to have freedom of choice.  2. Smokers are people, too!  Why are OUR rights not being taken into account?  As long as cigs are legal, where is OUR right to smoke in peace, without being fined or arrested or people coming up and yelling in our face?

qrex912 qrex912

I agree with everyone except for momavanessa. Who am I to tell anyone what to do with their body? Who are government officials to do so?

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