I started a bit of a stink yesterday.
I posted about my old hobby horse – smoking.
Before I start I want to make one thing plain – I AM NOT ADVOCATING SMOKING. People seem to think I am launching some sort of campaign to get everyone lighting up. I’m not. Don’t be stupid.
But the whole thing got me thinking about the subject of passive smoking, and more generally on how we inflict ourselves on others.
I am really going to get it in the neck here, but I don’t think passive smoking is anything like the threat that people make it out to be. It is merely a politically correct bandwaggon that was launched in the US [where else!] that the non-smokers could latch on to.
The Surgeon General of the United States stated [and I quote] “Sustained exposure to second-hand smoke was equivalent to smoking about two cigarettes a day”. Fine. But the key word here is “sustained”. So, if I live with a partner who smokes 40 a day, then I smoke 2. That seems reasonable. But if I only share a room with them for a couple of hours [say, in a pub] then simple maths shows that I would inhale the equivalent of 0.17 of a cigarette. Wow! So if I go to the pub seven nights a week, I smoke just over one cigarette. I think, somehow that the alcohol will do more damage than that!
So the anti-smoking lobby are latching onto this and it has become politically correct [and a vote catcher] to talk about passive smoking.
What about passive inhaling of exhaust fumes? This is a subject that doesn’t hit the headlines very often, yet is probably a far greater killer. Incidents of asthma have soared in our cities. All they have done to date is to ban lead in petrol. But there is no great move to ban cars…. Smokers are a much easier target!!
I suffer from an allergy. I am allergic to artificial scents. Those air-fresheners drive me mad. I cannot tolerate perfume or aftershave. I get headaches, running eyes and all the symptoms of sinusitis. It is extremely unpleasant. I would prefer to stand in a field of slurry than share a lift with a beautiful woman who is wearing perfume.
I think it is only fair that people with perfume and aftershave be banned from pubs. They are inflicting their foul habits on me and are affecting my health. They are the scum of the earth. They should be vilified for what they are – selfish ignorant people who are affecting the health of others with their foul habits. The sale of air-fresheners should be banned for the sake of public health. Likewise perfume and aftershave. I have my rights as an individual, and I demand that those rights be respected.