We are here today to discuss a basic human right that has been suppressed. A right that we once had, but that has been extinguished by the pessimists. By those who put their faith in numbers and facts and realities, and who have no respect for human addiction when it conflicts with health standards. Our constitutional right has been violated. Our freedom revoked.
There was a time where people enter a restaurant and are offered to both smoking and non-smoking sections. While I did not approve of the discriminatory segregation, I allowed it to go on. Now I wonder if I had taken a stand, way back when, maybe I could have prevented the oppression. But now, now I’ve been stripped of my right completely. Is it so wrong to want not a bowl of breadsticks before my meal, but a nice warm cigarette? Is it so wrong to refuse that fattening chocolate cake, replacing it with a much lower-calorie cigarette? I think not.
There was a time when parents could sit in a car, waiting to pick up their kids from school, and they could take a quick drag from a cigarette and no one would look twice. But now they cannot even bring one onto the campus, let alone light one. Is this not a violation of their rights? Why, when they’re in their own car, can they not do as they please? While I do admit that it is necessary for them to roll the windows down, thereby releasing the byproduct of their only source of happiness into the lungs of young children, I must simply say that I do not believe that second-hand smoke really is toxic, even if every single scientist in the entire world says otherwise.
There was a time when I could smoke a cigarette when the preacher’s sermon went on for too long, or he discussed a sin I myself had committed, thus putting me on edge. I could relieve myself of the stresses of the lord and have not a problem with those around me but occasional annoyed and rarely angry glare. Now I am fairly certain that if I even lifted a cigarette more than an inch or two out of my purse my pew-mates would all but jump on me, creating a much larger distraction than the smoking would have been in the first place. I know how stressful public speaking can be; I would have no problem with the preacher smoking during his sermon, but for some unfathomable reason our society has deemed this type of behavior unacceptable.
There was a time when my cardiologist husband didn’t come home from work shaking from the stress of the day, from the stress of an open-heart surgery. That was the time when smoking was allowed. When, if the surgery became too nerve-wracking, the doctor could smoke a little smoke to calm his nerves. Have you ever heard the sound of the heart monitor flat-lining? I have. It’s extremely stressful. What better way to calm such a stress than giving the doctor a quick cigarette to sharpen his senses? I know I would feel a lot better going into surgery if I knew the doctor was going to be smoking while I lay, unconscious and bleeding, on that operating table.
I propose the smoking ban should be permitted and encouraged! That the carcinogens should be allowed to permeate our air! Have the tar, benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia, acetone, carbon monoxide, nicotine, arsenic, vinyl chloride, beryllium, cadmium, ethylene oxide, toluene and hydrogen cyanide and the other three thousand nine hundred eighty six chemicals swirl freely through our atmosphere. Let the children breathe it! Only 440,000 people die prematurely each and every year in the United States of smoking-related causes. So I know that smoking is the leading cause of premature, preventable death in this country, but honestly, I don’t see the problem.