Monday, November 23, 2009

1001 Ways To Tune Up The World, Number Forty-Nine

49. Ban cigarettes.

I was a smoker for 17 years before quitting just over five years ago. So during that 17 years, of course, I was all in favor of "smoker's rights" or whatever other idiocy led me to believe that I should have been allowed to do something so stupid. Even over the past few years, I've still been somewhat libertarian on the issue, saying people shouldn't smoke but it's up to them.

Now I've changed. Now I no longer believe that kind of junk. People shouldn't be allowed to smoke, and it has nothing to do with how smelly and annoying it is when I walk past the students smoking outside my office, or how terrible my family's houses smell.

It has everything to do with this: Cigarettes are the only legal product which, when used exactly as intended, kill the user.

No other thing people are allowed to buy, not guns, not alcohol, not cars, can say that.

There is no moderate way to smoke. There is no way to safely use tobacco. Allowing companies to sell cigarettes is like allowing them to sell hara-kiri kits, and then taxing those. It's not about "freedom of choice" to do what you want with your body; it's about allowing companies to sell death kits in packs of 20 and then allowing government to tax those death kits.

All the kerfuffle over advertising cigarettes, all the warning labels and debate about the costs of caring for dying smokers, all the banning-cigarettes-in-bars talk... it would all go away if we would just wake up and realize We're letting people sell death.

You may have a right to do what you want with your body, up to and including deciding when to stop using it, but that doesn't mean that others have a right to make money selling you items created with the sole purpose of killing you.

Lacking space but need a place to sleep? Check out a wall bed or one of the other options available from

Going to comment on this post? You'd better. Click here to find out why.

Prior entries:

13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.

No comments: