Sunday, October 30, 2011

Head crusade

I'm on a god damn head crusade. There's not limit to what ticks me off in the world today. Right now it's double standards, or at least what I perceive to be double standards.

People moan and whinge about violence in movies and how it's desensitizes but spending time yesterday with a friend who smokes I couldn't help noticing how the warnings on the cigarette packets are getting bigger and grosser.

When I was still smoking some twelve years ago there were warning labels on packets. We used to ask for the packets that harmed babies or others as a joke because it was all a bit silly. The warnings had zero impact on my decision to quit smoking.

Nowadays cigarette packets are covered with cut up cadavers and gangrenous feet, and it basically seems like someone has gone on a photographic rampage at the coroner's or something. Here in Australia they're now proposing to cover the whole packet with gross photos like that because obviously what's already on there isn't horrible enough.

Has anyone even considered that people get desensitized and that if your addicted to something a photo isn't going to make you stop? If we can apply the desensitization rule to movies shouldn't we also apply it to the whole make-them-quit-by-showing-them-gross-photos campaign? Or, am I just being stupid here?

We were sitting in a cafe yesterday, outside, and my friend lit up a cigarette and he was chastised by the waitress. No one was bothered but they now suddenly have a no smoking rule. OK, that's fine, it's their restaurant but it's also our money. We cut our dining short because my friend wanted to smoke. Our choice. We kept our money.

My point is that it's not illegal to buy cigarettes, smokers don't buy them to be obnoxious and most smokers I know want to quite because they know it's killing them. All the while the government is making huge money from tax on cigarettes and that's hypocritical. And by the way, I hate the smell of cigarette smoke...

I think it's the unwillingness to deal with the smoking issue head on that made me get mad at the whole issue. If you really want to get people quitting then ban cigarettes and put some decent treatment programs in place. If you really want to deal with problems then take a look at alcohol and how it's currently killing more people than cigarettes are. No one's touching that holy cow now, are they?

Just like fat people can't help eating, smokers can't stop smoking,  alcoholics can't stop drinking and gamblers can't stop gambling. It's not even about banning the things people are addicted to or that they abuse, it's about making a better society where people don't need to rely on self harm to get them through the day. 

We think that because we live in the Western world what with our wealth and health care that we have no right to ask for something better. People are starving in Africa you know...

I think we have a right to demand things that will inevitably help more people lead a better life and that it's really not even something we should have to demand. As long as companies like cigarette companies are allowed to make and peddle their wares we should lay off the people that these companies prey on. Why don't we go to town on these companies and call them for what they really are: Murderers!

3 comments:

  1. i think that maybe alan shore did exactly that on an episode of boston legal. :-) i kinda like how smokers have been forced outdoors and will soon be forced into their own homes with their poison. i'm fine with people smoking, i just don't want to have to breathe second-hand smoke - it's their choice, not mine. :-)

    that said, i think the fat tax here in denmark is an attempt to try to force people to lead a better life - in a place with public health care, i can kind of see that the gov't should have a say in how people eat, since they're going to have to pay the consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle. however, they implemented it in a stupid way...on the raw ingredients, like butter and cream, rather than on finished fat products, like chips and candy.

    i totally agree tho', that there should be more assistance for people who want to stop drinking, smoking, eating (tho', honestly, you'd have to pry my glass of chenin blanc out of my cold, dead hand)...they should be using all that tax money for something good...

    dang, that comment was all over the place.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree, the smokers belong outdoors. I loathe the smell.

    But!

    Yes but!

    I tend to think that as long as we allow companies to manufacture and make money from making cigarettes we're going to be stuck with the problem. It's not working hitting the smokers with higher prices and less places to smoke.

    Get at the source, cut that monster's head off I say! Time to make corporations responsible.

    ReplyDelete
  3. despite the trendiness of CSR, i think we're far from truly making corporations responsible for anything...*sigh*

    ReplyDelete

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