As long as no one else is harmed ...
Knowing that they were getting nowhere, about twenty years ago the experts adopted a new tactic. A strategem as it turned out. Statistics were revealed showing that non-smokers suffered from the effects of cigarette smoke inhalation too. The postulate could not be supported in the laboratory (and still can't) but it was handed off to statisticians to prove. And they did. Non-smokers who were "exposed to" cigarette smoke were more likely to develop cancers, emphysema, etc, than were non-smokers who were not exposed to cigarette smoke. Somehow.
Thus was born the "second-hand smoke" campaign. And the tobacco industry in the USA has been in retreat ever since. Neither the industry nor its customers could make the "it's a matter of personal choice" argument any longer. Non-smokers who found themselves in a room full of cigarette smoke could not, after all, choose to not breathe.
As a result, restaurants and workplaces around the country have been made "smoke-free" by government decree. Workers these days find themselves banished to back alleys and parking lots should they feel the need to light up, even on the most frigid and forbidding of days (which makes one wonder about the anti-smoking zealots' compassion argument).
Well, something is about to punch a gigantic hole in the second-hand smoke argument.
Analyst: Reynolds will unveil smokeless tobacco at Daytona 500A cigarette that emits no smoke.
The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area
The Citigroup analyst who first predicted that Reynolds American Inc. would introduce a smokeless tobacco product this month reiterated her prediction Friday in a note to investors.
"We increasingly believe (Reynolds American) will be entering the smokeless market at the Daytona 500 this Sunday," analyst Bonnie Herzog wrote in a note to investors. "Our trade contacts indicate (Reynolds American) has developed a product and will enter the market with Camel." (link)
If Reynolds' scientists are able to perfect a cigarette (and apparently they have) that gives off no smoke and, therefore, does not emit carcinogens into the air and, therefore, produces nothing that a non-smoker might injest, can the argument about second-hand smoke contamination hold up?
The answer is no (anti-smoking zealots will continue to answer yes despite all evidence to the contrary).
The tide is about to turn.
I will sit back and watch this trend unfold with a sinful amount of glee. I don't smoke so I have no dog in this fight. But if there has ever been a more mean-spirited prohibition campaign in my lifetime (closely resembling Victorian-era prudish moralism in extremis), I don't know what it might be.
Anti-smoking crusaders have been vicious in their treatment of smokers in recent decades. They were able to get away with it because their argument that smokers kill non-smokers was always a powerful one. That argument - that weapon - is about to be taken away from them.
Let's see what their weapon of choice becomes now. In an effort to show compassion, let me be the first to offer one up:
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost who is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19Now There is a powerful weapon.