What about my rights?

A few times recently I have seen mention of Human Rights.

ASH in America seem to be campaigning hard to "link tobacco and human rights" and keep dancing about it as if it was the ultimate sanction against smokers.

Personally I think the two should be linked, but maybe not quite the way they mean.

Their view is that tobacco is a threat to fundamental human rights, especially health and life.  A threat to fundamental human rights?  What are fundamental human rights?  The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  Seeing as the Puritans don't believe in liberty or the pursuit of happiness, I find this a little contradictory?

And their argument that tobacco is a threat to health and life is just a wee smidgen over the top?  A threat to life?  What about all those other things that are a threat to health and life such as the internal combustion engine, pesticides and even electricity?  Why aren't they included in ASH's little submission?

I would see things a little differently.

I think tobacco should be linked with human rights, and in particular the area of discrimination. 

I use tobacco.  It is a perfectly legal product and the tax man does very well out of it, yet I am being treated like a leper by that very same ASH crowd.  They encourage ostracisation, discrimination, abuse, intolerance and even violence against me.  Where are my rights there?  And if I own a business I am forced to not only to apply their laws within my business but am actually forced to police those laws myself.  I would consider that a considerable breach of my rights as a business owner.

My religion, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation are all protected by law, yet I am heavily and openly discriminated against purely on account of my choice of a legal pastime.  I would see that as a fundamental breach of my human rights?

So which is the greater abuser of human rights?

ASH?

Or a leaf off a plant?

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Comments

What about my rights? — 7 Comments

  1. Steam comes out of my ears whenever I hear the phrase 'human rights'

    If people want to smoke a perfectly legal substance, then that's up to them. It's their body. The insurance companies hike their premiums and you're not allowed to smoke in public places, but then having been in a hell of a lot of small clubs back in the 60s and 70s, I could argue that these places are better without the smoke.

    I was an 80 a day man but haven't had a puff now for over 30 years but if people want to, it's fine by me. ASH are entitled to their views, but I don't share them and nor should I be forced to do so. And I'm a non-smoker!

     

    • That would be an interesting debate – exactly what rights are we entitled to?  I would maintain that the only basic right we should all have is the right to life itself.  The rest are subject to variables and degrees.

      If for example we have a "right to fresh air" [as the Antis love to maintain] then what is to be done about all the pollution and other crap we breathe?  Of course what they really mean is a right to breath air that doesn't contain tobacco smoke [or vapour] but the rest of the shit is fine.

  2. just testing to see if I can reply from work or if the issue is still on going.
    HOT DAMN, even has an edit button and everything works, delightful!

  3. I like to think that the phrase, "Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness" is speaking of 'absolutes', in much the same that the the French "Liberte, Egalite et Fraternite' are absolutes. That is, those phrases are ideological. For example, 'pursuit of happiness' does not mean that you can steal other people's property so that you can be happy. The problem is that the Tobacco Control Industry has warped the ideological meaning of 'lack of tobacco smoke' in the same way that theft would be tolerated if it made the thief happy, but in the opposite direction. 

  4. Agree with much of the above, but, speaking as someone who's been involved in any number of civil rights campaigns over the years, I'm afraid that with rights and modern governments it's a case of 'defend 'em or lose 'em'.

    For instance, non-smoker myself but as a civil libertarian I sympathise. I've been urging local smokers for years to stop grumbling, get in touch with either Forest UK or Ireland, join forces, fight back and speak up instead of whingeing.

    Likewise, when the Manx government followed UK with this smoking in cars with kids thing, I – a lifelong non-smoker – let Simon Chapman at Forest UK and your own John Mallon know that there was a public consultation. Responses to the consultation were inevitable, the prodnoses did, smokers didn't. To best of my knowledge, Simon Chapman and I were the only respondents putting an argument against.

    When the law came in, this month, a very fair minded radio presenter was prepared to hear arguments against, so contacted Simon to ask if he could suggest a local to put them. I was dealing with a family crisis that day, Simon still hasn't been contacted by any Manx smoker so did what he could over the phone at silly O'clock in the morning for a radio station in a country where technically it isn't even his fight. Meanwhile, I have let Simon know I'll put in a local word if the local media ask, send letters to the papers and  put up with puritan abuse, explain to workmates why it matters… but local smokers? Still crying into their beer, still too apathetic.

    Sorry folks, but it's hardly how Martin Luther King got things done, is it?

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