Re: Smokers kicked to the curb (News, Oct. 4)
About five years ago, I was in Port Angeles, Wash. While there, I observed many signs that said it is unlawful to smoke with 25 feet of a doorway.
My handy metric converter tells me that 25 feet is 7.62 metres.
So, it would seem that our neighbours just to the south of us have been living with much stricter restrictions then we have for quite some time. Although, I am an advocate for civil rights, I am surprised that the B.C. Civil Liberties Association has chosen to weigh in on this issue, as there are no “rights” involved here (human, natural, legal, or otherwise).
One’s rights end at the end of their nose, i.e. one can not impinge on the rights of others without a very good reason such as traffic laws that prevent mass chaos on the roads, convicted criminals losing their right to freedom, etc.
Smoking is something that very much impinges on the rights of others, yet there is no good reason for smoking.
It is very much detrimental both to the smoker and to society at large, and has no redeeming qualities. Thus there can be no “right” to smoke. Thus restrictions on smoking can not be said to violate civil liberties.
You quote Dani Kong who asks why it is legal to smoke when it is such a problem. I suspect that it is legal because people have been smoking for hundreds of years, and it’s only in the last 50 years or so that we have known how detrimental it is.
It takes time to change society; however, I fully expect that smoking will be outlawed within my lifetime, and increasing restrictions are just a step along the way.
Also, I will point out that there are other things that are legal but which are restricted. You can’t walk down the street with an open bottle of alcohol, for instance.
One last thing, I must ask: why aren’t smokers fined for littering when they throw those dirty disgusting cigarette butts down on the ground?