smoke paternalism

Obama pledges to quickly sign anti-smoking bill

"Smokers, particularly the younger crowd, will find they can no longer buy cigarettes sweetened by candy flavors or any herb or spices such as strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon or vanilla."

OK, you paternalistic motherfuckers. I am over 18. I can drink till I die under a table. I can slog through red tape and get a gun and blow my own head off. I can VOTE, which, in theory, is kind of important.

I can also go sky-diving. I can eat all sorts of cancer-causing shit; I can stick my head into a microwave. I can breathe the air polluted with the byproducts of whatever industries have paid your whining, pandering asses enough to stay in business and haven't yet been labeled as "hurting the children."

And I won't be able to buy vanilla cigarettes?

Ah, yes. "For the children." "Protect the children." "Think of the children."

How about you hypocritical cunts get better sex ed out there? How about you stop preaching abstinence to a generation who is NOT fucking hearing you over the roar of the completely unchecked music and TV culture, and, I dunno, teach them about something practical like birth control?

While I'm on culture, how about you pull your heads out of your asses and take note of what 11-year-old girls are wearing; of what 10-year-old boys have already learned to say about women (bitches, hoes, etc.). Catching predators is nice; how about a closer look at the cultural influences that drive young girls to flirt with men online? (And fuck you if you think I'm blaming the victim - yeah, they're too young and dumb to know better, but MySpace is teeming with prepubescent boobs and ain't NO ONE forcing them to put those pictures up.)

And furthermore, ya know what, fuck the children. Let their parents take care of them. How about that as a novel concept? Let their PARENTS monitor their activities online; let their PARENTS check their pockets for cigarettes and drugs; let their PARENTS actually fucking TALK to them instead of buying them the latest piece of shit with Hannah Montana on it. Let their PARENTS be paternalistic. It actually makes sense in that scenario.

I am a grown woman. Occasionally, I like to smoke a flavored cigarette. And you are telling me I won't be able to - because of the children.

I know smoking is dangerous. I am very, very well-informed about that. At this point, every sentient human being is well-informed about it. You want to put bigger labels on the box - fine. They do it in Europe. Gruesome pics, too. I'm cool with that. Smokers still smoke.

And drinkers still drink. Sky-divers still skydive. Drag-racers still drag-race. People still buy guns. Auto-asphyxiators still get their thing on. We still eat fruit sprayed with pesticides and food infused with preservatives. McDonald's is still very much in business. And EVERYBODY drinks diet soda like it's going out of style, and who cares what sort of unpronounceable shit it's got in it and what it might do to you.

"Not the same thing," all will say. "Not the same thing." Yeah, it actually is. As an adult, it's our right to take the information we have - and, by all means, disseminate information, I fucking love disseminated information - and make our choice. Take our risk, if we want to. Because our lives are still OURS.

But what the hell do I know. I also want to legalize weed, whores and euthanasia and bring the drinking/consent age down to 16.

And, for the record, I opposed the smoking ban in New York City bars and restaurants YEARS before I even took my first puff.

If you think cigarettes as truly poisonous and universally dangerous - outlaw them. Stop being a pussy and just do it. Or, how about this use of your energy - ENFORCE your fucking drug laws. 'Cause we can get weed, coke and pills pretty much as easily as we can get vanilla smokes. (Just takes a little research and a foray into the right neighborhood.)

And then, outlaw liquor. Bring back Prohibition. And then, outlaw gun ownership, and fuck that amendment, right? And then, make pornography - ALL pornography - illegal, because, well, Jesus, little Johnny might see a pop-up ad while he's watching a music video, and it might block his view of Fergie's twat.


  1. iiiaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh. that was me exhaling with deep satisfaction. intellect, attitude and honesty.

  2. LOL. Oh, thank God, I thought I might have alienated everyone with this one :)

  3. George Carlin, eat your heart out :)
    Except I'd disagree about the smoking ban in restaurants, have you tried eating in Belgium lately (one of the only places left in Europe where you can still eat and smoke)? It's nauseating, even for an occasional smoker.

  4. I actually haven't eaten in Belgium in a couple of years - but last time, I think it might have been a non-smoking restaurant.

    Maybe I have a higher tolerance or I just like the sweet, sweet smell of mah 'backy, but I actually really like eating outside, wreathed in delicious blue poison :)

  5. PS - are you Dina L? From a few years back? :)

  6. Yep. Been stealthily and indulgently following your blog :)

  7. Damn lurkers, stalking me online and not even being considerate enough to let me know about it so I could have a small ego boost to spice up my decrepit existence :)

    We should get together one of these days. You know, gesture languidly with cigarettes and wine glasses while discussing the sad state of the world and gulping down sushi or something.

  8. Well, I've come out of the shadows so ego away!
    Just as a counter-argument to your argument (love those); vanilla-children-bullshit aside- no one now thinks that banning radium, heroin and cocaine from medicine in the 1920s was unwarranted. One can view cigarettes in the same vein- they are, after all, a pure and slow poison. In 50 years when they are completely banned, people won't see it as an infringement on freedom, but a logical and necessary step in cultural evolution.

  9. Yeah, I've thought about that too - that these are just baby steps on the way to banning them outright. I get that. However, the way it is at the present moment in time, it doesn't come across as steps taken to making them illegal so much as it comes across as ways to make smokers miserable. And that ticks me off.
    Along with the general attitude toward smokers. If another dumb fuck speaks to me on the street to tell me "that stuff is bad for you," I am gonna start trolling McDonald's and pointing at people's burgers and saying "did you know that's high in saturated fats?" (OK, not really. Those people could friggen sit on me and kill me.)
    I am not arguing that cigarettes are safe. I know they kill people. However, so do lots of other things (elective surgery kills people sometimes; we gonna ban that?), and I just think people should have as much choice as possible when it comes to their lives - even if, yes, they make stupid choices. Which is why I am perfectly fine with huge and graphic warning labels. Information = good. Big Brotherly limitations on our ability to slowly kill ourselves = bad. Think of it as Darwinism in action. I'm trying to winnow my idiot genes out here - LET ME.

  10. Er, that wasn't directed at YOU. Just, you know. Screaming into the abyss and all that.

  11. I really do agree with you. But at the same time often disagree with myself on this topic. Of course cigarettes are not the worst thing for us out there (very aware of that as I'm occasionally vegan and mostly vegetarian nowadays) but I really also do expect for 1. food colorings 2. saturated fat 3.plastic containers 4. pesticides/food antibiotics to be also banned in some near future, and I wouldn't miss those for the world. It's harder with cigarettes because it seems that they are being thrust right from our lips and of course, that creates a matter of choice. But the children of our children won't miss them much I'm sure. I'm an steadfast believer in legalization of most drugs as there is enough good and bad there to make it a matter of individual choice. But I cannot make the same case for cigs at this point except as a thing of habit.

  12. I understand and I agree with that - but the difference between cigarettes and, say, preservatives, is that there is NO risk (these days) that nicotine and tar will sneak into something we are consuming without our knowledge. You know what, I am not in favor of outright BANNING preservatives and trans-fats either, but I am in favor of clear and rigorously-monitored/enforced labels on products.

    Cigarettes aren't being stuck into our faces anymore than Snickers bars. (Much less, in fact.) Are they more chemically addictive? Sure. (Although, really, as someone who had to kick a KitKat-a-day habit once, it's friggin' hard.) But it is still a PERSONAL choice. These days, anyone who doesn't live under a rock knows that a) trying a cigarette will almost certainly lead to addiction and b) it's bad for you. And they do it ANYWAY. As is their right.

    My view is definitely colored by the fact that I like a cigarette here and there. But I am also in favor of legalizing . . . well, frankly, I'm in favor of legalizing just about all drugs, if only because it will remove the taboo and will provide a way to get relatively "safe" stuff (as opposed to getting it cut with God knows what), and I don't do most drugs and never have. And I actually don't think (though I could be wrong?) there are any especially good side effects to most of them, other than the high itself. I am just a personal-choice junkie, I guess :)

    The children of our children won't miss cigarettes at all - because by then, they will have discovered some new way to slowly destroy themselves. I am always amused by how much we try and "protect" certain groups like children; people really underestimate how creatively self-destructive humans are. Like that "sniffing" thing that was big in the late 90s. I'm pretty sure the makers of aerosole products never suggested in their ads that you could get high by sniffing their stuff. Someone figured it out anyway.

    And then, there are prescription meds. And all sorts of other things that could easily be abused and turned into poison via overdose. (Liquor is the easiest example.)

    When the government enacts these regulations that aim to protect people from themselves, they don't seem to realize just how futile it is. Futile and insulting. If I wanted the state to do my thinking/deciding for me in matters as personal as my own health, I'd move to Orwell's Oceania, with its mandatory morning calisthenics and shit.

  13. Jesus friggen Christ, that was long.

  14. Creative and definite self-destruction, true- and if you'd like to really get into the cafe-metaphysics of all of this, then yeh, we'll all destroy ourselves in the end with one thing or other so banning anything is ultimately pointless. BUT! I don't agree with the fact that kit-kats and cigarettes can be compared in their addiction or potential harm. A few extra pounds and lung cancer are quite a world apart. And back to children (I'm being Devil's advocate here), when I was 14 I didn't really understand what addiction was so 'knowing' that cigarettes are bad for you may not be the same as REALLY understanding it.

    That aside- I've been a vehement supporter of drug legalization for a long time and that goes for everything except - crack, meth, heroin and a few other nasties. Those, like cigarettes, have no possible health benefits but also feature sky-high addiction potential and, in most cases, irreversible harm. For me it puts them out of the realm of choice and into the territory of poison.

    I'm much more bothered with the overall hypocrisy of the gov't - spending millons on the war on drugs while letting cigarette companies thrive. These feeble attempts of eliminating flavors or putting large warning stickers are just ridiculous. It seems that we're grabbing on to cigarettes as our last remaining shred of choice. In a situation where everything else was legal, would the elimination of vanilla cigarettes still bother anyone that much?

  15. Of course, cigarettes & candy bars aren't the same - but I just want to add that it's not just a few extra lbs; it's also heart disease, diabetes, etc.

    As for 14-year-olds, I'm sorry, but I put the onus of protecting kids completely on their parents. No, they can't be everywhere at once, but I am really, really sick of the whole rhetoric about needing to protect children. Language-control, image-control, all that crap. I want to hear "fuck" and see tits on NBC at 10 pm. Is it too much to expect parents to keep their spawn away from the television at that time? Or keep it tuned to PBS or something?

    Agree with your last paragraph. Although I think the war on drugs needs to be fought harder - the nasties you mentioned can still be accessed. And are. Maybe they should deal with that before targeting cigarettes. That's another thing that annoys me. Like you said - it's ridiculous to think eliminating flavors will do anything. As for labels, you may be right but I gotta tell you, some of those more gruesome photo-labels on European smokes gave me serious pause.



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