31 May 2011

Another smoking ban: Big Brother strikes again

After resolving all other Israel's problems, our lawmakers took a deep breath and decided to polish off the last remaining issue: smoking.

The new regulations approved by the cabinet on Sunday include a ban on smoking at train and bus station platforms, as well as limitingsmoking areas in restaurants to 15 square meters.
Right. I have been smoking for more years than I care to report here. I've never been an aggressive smoker, avoiding lighting up near non-smokers, kids etc and certainly trying to accommodate anyone who asked me not to smoke - even in places that allow this pastime. Moreover, I am aware of the need to reduce or eliminate this unhealthy habit where our kids are concerned and I agree that much remains to be done.

However, the senseless* passion for heavy handed and illogical (hysterical, if you will) attacks on the smoking via idiotic legislation, esp. attempts to prevent smoking in open air, pisses me off. Anyone who claims that his/her health is endangered by someone smoking ten or twenty meters away is already a good candidate for a health check. At least where her/his mental health is concerned.

And what will be the contribution of a ban on automated cigarette machines to cleanliness of our air? Yes, sure, it will prevent kids from getting their grubby paws on cigarettes. Makes one suspect that our legislators never passed through that, normally inescapable stage of human development...

Apparently the saying that "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" is applicable to our Knesset, whose main tool is legislature. But of course, there is another habit, which is blindly following most of the health-related (but not only health-related) measures undertaken by the Big Satan.

So, I guess, the next step will be to enact a law, sheer idiocy of which is beyond a mere human's ability to grasp:
New smoking laws will take effect in New York City Monday, prohibiting smokers from lighting up in certain public places. Come Monday the city’s sweeping ban kicks in at parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas, like in Times Square.
Oh what the heck, it's their problem. But mind you, it will be coming here soon if we don't do anything about it. The penchant of the people we choose for governing our food, our drinks, our smoking should be stopped before it spreads further in all its well-intentioned nincompoopery.

(*) I call this passion senseless, but it's true only from a citizen's point of view. If you look at the politicos, for them the good fight against smoking provides an easy target, zero resistance and exposure. What better to hide one's impotence in the issues that really matter?

P.S. Another example of stupid legislative activism: an amazing law (by Jameel @ The Muqata):
On January 31, 2005, the Knesset enacted a law that forbids the use of mobile phones in gas stations, with a whopping fine of NIS 12000 ($3260) for the criminals who dare to flagrantly endanger public safety.
More about this.


Lesley said...

You have no idea what you are in for.  They started stuff like that here years ago and at this point I am shocked that I am still allowed to smoke in my own house and car. 

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yeah. It could only get better from this point on (not really).

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yeah. It could only get better from this point on (not really).

Dick Stanley said...

Oh, good, one more reason not to visit New York. As if I needed another one. As I recall (I may be wrong) the cell phone ban at gas stations has something to do (somehow) with igniting the gas fumes.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Don't worry, these draconian measures will come to your part of the woods soon.

And for the gas fumes: this is an urban legend that is refuted (see the link).