Does anyone ever stop to think about how Puritans tar everyone with the same brush?
Smoking is a good example where there are many types of smoker.
There is the sixty a day habit, and the person who might have a cigar at Christmas. There is the pipe smoker who [like myself] has a pipe which filters out most of the goo and tar. There is the person who might smoke ten a day but discards each stick only half consumed. There is of course the new phenomenon of e-cigarettes [or whatever you want to call them]. All of these are lumped together as dirty filthy smokers with no degree of separation whatsoever.
So whether you enjoy a cigar once a year or smoke like a chimney you run the risk of all the penalties applied to "smokers". Life insurance and health insurance are typical examples, where quantity is irrelevant – you are a smoker or you aren't. In some cases you can even be fired from your job for that one smoke a year. Enjoy one cigarette after a day's work and you can forget about applying for some jobs, and that can even apply to those who "vape".
The Puritans got away with this one as the penalties originally were proportional to the amount smoked. The heavy smoker pays more, and the very light smoker only has to step outside occasionally. But this has changed in recent times. Users of electronic devices [95% safer?] are lumped with precisely the same discrimination as those who gulp down several packs of untipped a day. Even vapers are "nicotine abusers".
Now we are moving into the areas of obesity and alcohol abuse.
Once again, anyone who takes a sip of wine is an alcohol abuser and if we like sugar, we are by default obese. This is patent nonsense but the Puritans just don't see it that way. Unlike smoking, their proposals now affect all those who like the odd tipple or a spoon of sugar in their tea. We are all disgustingly fat alcoholics whether we like it or not and we must all pay the penalty.
There are those who like to down half a bottle of vodka before heading out on the town with the express intention of getting hammered. Good luck to 'em but they are a tiny minority compared to those who might like a glass of wine or a couple of pints down the pub. But now those of us who might enjoy a quiet pint or five have to pay the price, and I say that literally as well as figuratively, in a country where drink is already overpriced.
Are we going to see all our food "dumbed down" with stiff sugar restrictions because of a minority? Am I to pay extra for the sugar in my tea because someone thinks someone else is overweight?
What next? Will they be banning all items containing nuts to "protect" those with allergies? Will all dairy produce be banned for the sake of the lactose intolerant? Will meat be outlawed "for the sake of the planet"?
This sweeping intolerance of lifestyles is totally out of hand. If they really want to cut down on binge drinking then tackle the binge drinkers. If they really must interfere with those they consider overweight then let them tackle the overweight. Targeting all for the sake of the few is indefensible.
The purpose of government is supposed to be to serve the people, provide services and to protect the rights of the individual. It is none of their business what we eat or drink. Our lifestyles are our choices. If I want to stuff myself rigid, wash my meal down with a bottle of Irish and smoke a few, then that's my choice and my choice alone. No one has any right to say otherwise. If I am in danger of lung, liver or heart damage my doctor will inform me and that is fine – that's at an individual level and affects no one else.
Punishing us all for the sake of the few is reprehensible and wrong.