Monday, November 9, 2009

Put out that damned cigarette

I quit smoking eleven years ago, and one of the great things about it is that I am no longer compelled to feign being the ardent sensualist who insists on exploiting every appetite and sensation our nerve endings can stand, and neither is there the need to wallow in libertarian sophistry about my body, might rights, my choice.

I played both these roles when I was up to two packs a day, combining the aesthete with the rugged individualist, and for all the volume I could muster in protest I wanted to quit desperately . Smoking even around other smokers was a drag, to coin a phrase, and as we gasped more the older we became , the old defenses and protests didn't even convince us anymore.

It's not about personal choice versus what a creeping totalitarian state would force us to do, it's a public health issue, a big one. More cities should go smokeless, and more will, I suspect, as more of us get with the idea that someone else's freedom to light up stops any where my lungs are likely to breath in the second hand smoke.

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