Contador Harrison has rights,Mr and Mrs Smoker

August 18, 2013

Yesterday was a very difficult day for me. I tried to tell a couple smoking in a non smoking zone that it was unlawful to do so but it was extremely difficult to talk sense to them because they deliberately ignored the standards at the hotel where a huge signage reads: This is a no smoking hotel. They said to me; black man could you please mind your own business. The woman went ahead with very unfriendly and inhuman “mind your own business” stare. Since I was not interested in their shenanigans, I relocated with my food to another table. In any country, I have gone, I see smokers everywhere in hotels, bus and train parks, restaurants, toilets and malls which acts as a conducive environment for people smokers but not for non smokers around them. People like me who do not smoke understand the dangers of smoking. But, unfortunately, just like millions or billions others, I have to bear with the perils of second hand smoke. In countries where the law is followed to the latter, the non-smoking public has played a leading role in the societies fight against secondhand smoking through campaigns.

In societies where impunity thrives, passive smokers are at the mercy of belligerent smokers. As a libertarian, I do not say we should have a tobacco free lifestyle.Smokers have a right just like I believe gays and other minorities group have their rights. But smokers should also appreciate the fact that in non smoking zones whether at restaurant, workplace, malls, home and all public areas there is need to mind about keeping our environment smoke free. I have an intolerance of smokers who flout the rules or end up creating their own smoking zones even within smoke free premises like the restaurant I was in yesterday. Moreover, one of the causes of the most preventable disabilities and illnesses in the world is the consumption of cigarettes and active smokers are already aware of these diseases. So I wonder why are they still smoking. After knowing that smoking is very dangerous, they should stop people from consuming tobacco. It is not only adults who smoke like the arrogant couple who wanted to turn your blogger into a smoker. I have in the past come across tweens and teens already smoking and now are stuck to the habit for life.

A packet of Marlboro cigarettes
A packet of Marlboro cigarettes similar to what the coffin nail addicts were smoking

I strongly believe that smoking has too many disadvantages to both the smoker and the environment. When Australian government announced drastic rules about cigarette packaging couple of years ago, research had shown that cigarettes damage many parts of the body from respiratory system to the brain. When the couple smokers started smoking, I started breathing the smoke as a passive smoker. As a result, if I had not taken action and moved to a safer place, I would have had a chance of getting infected by diseases caused by smoking, like lung cancer and why would I be that stupid?I was raised in a family where smokers never exist and have grown with a personal belief that smokers should completely stop smoking in presence of non-smokers. In my opinion, I find defenders of the tobacco industry as bloody idiots who only care about their wealth and not the health of people. To my understanding, smoking is as bad as consuming hard drugs because they are both addictive and dangerous. 
Research has shown that half of smokers die because of diseases caused by smoking. Unless you are the most foolish of the fools, hard drugs like heroine, coke cannot be acceptable just because they generate income and provide employment like has been the case in Mexico and larger parts of Central America.

Living a healthy life is an individual responsibility and Contador Harrison cannot be the guardian and furthermore, he can do little about it. I have no single friend who smokes and over the past 15 years, I have only come across a female and male friends as the only smoker to be on my list of worthy people. I do like telling my friends and relatives about the dangerous effects of smoking because I believe that smoking is a fatal habit.To the couple who never bothered about my plight and saw me as just another black bloke ranting, me think that it is time for non smokers like me to stand up for their rights because the law can only do so much. I know smokers usually smoke because they think they are exercising their own free will but if we are to be successful in tackling the second hand smoking, we should go beyond creating smoke free zones and deal with law breakers in order to save lives of non smokers.

Contador Harrison