Since yesterday an official smoking ban has been imposed by the Greek Parliament in an effort to join many other EU countries that have already gone smokesless. The governments of these countries have decided to act as some kind of dictator with the USA giving the "good" example in the first place - thus forcing people to adopt the lifestyle their governments dictate! This reminds me of the basics of Communism - a regime which, as we all know, has miserably failed.
This said, anti-smoking centres and so- called anti-smoking campaigns have arbitrarily decided about the preferences and the lifestyle of quite a large part of their population. These citizens are labelled as "Smokers". They are treated as second-rate citizens and are often categorised as "drug-addicts" or simply "ghettos". How very ironic! The World has miserbaly failed to solve some vital problems such as:
1. Homeless people.
3. Drugs (by the way smokers are not drug addicts!)
Yet, the governments of this world feel free to impose a law: smoking bans! Because, you see, they have solved all other problems.
I have learnt to respect all people - regardless of whether their habits are different from mine. I am a very heavy smoker yet I take my own risks.. MY problem! Yet, like most smokers, I respect non-smokers. I personally banned smoking everywhere in my school but I often sneak a cigarette outside. The smoking ban hasn't been voted in Cyprus yet but out of respect for the children I teach, I decided that no one will be allowed to smoke at my school. I want non-smokers to treat me with just as much respect. This is what I call equal rights as I live in a democratic country.
FIVE ARGUMENTS AGAINST SMOKING BANS IN RESTAURANTS, HOTELS AND BARS
1. I believe in what is fair and suggest 2 separate rooms in restaurants,bars,hotels,cafes - smokers and non-smokers. Not just areas - ROOMS
2. In open air restaurants, cafes or bars, there must be 2 separate areas at a distance - for smokers and non-smokers. That's what I call a democratic option.
3. Smoking should be totally banned in public transport, offices and workplace. As I said above, I respect non-smokers too much to allow them or their children to breathe my smoke.
4. My husband doesn\t smoke cigarettes. Ah right! He was strong enough to give it up 13 years ago. But he does enjoy the occasional cigar at a restaurant, after a good meal. I love the smell of a good-quality cigar and I think it is unreasonable to ban cigars from a smoking-area where cigarette smoking is allowed!
5. Passive smoking : in the open-air there is no such case! Yet, I understand that some people may not wish to smell someone's smoke: so - outdoors smoking areas should be kept at a reasonable distance from non-smokers and children. Indoors smoking and non-smoking areas should be in completely separate rooms. If this is not possible - I agree with the non smoking ban.
I don't often post such long posts as I also respect my readers' available time. I'd greatly appreciate your own views but ...please don't preach!