Thinking For The Individual

Formerly known as 'Thinking For The People', this site offers some reflections on the state of British society and her people from the perspective of a libertarian Conservative with a passionate belief in the pillars of freedom and responsibility.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

No Smoke Without Fire

Last week there was renewed talk of a ban on smoking in public places to be introduced in Britain. After contemplating all of this, I've found myself taking a rather unusual and unexpected position on the issue. I am the kind of person who truly detests smoking. Words can't express my disgust at the habit. Yet I am ready to become the smokers' champion. Not because I want to defend their rights, but because I want to instill their responsibilities.

I've realised that a ban on smoking would take away any responsibility on the part of the smoker to ensure that his habit does not impinge on the quality of life of any of those around him. It is the smoker's duty, not the State's, to protect his health and the health of those passing by. To ban smoking in public places would take away that responsibility.

A ban on smoking in public places would be another step in that shortening journey to crafting a nation of people who have no responsibility to themselves or their neighbour, but who will look first to the State to solve their problems. A smoker should not look to the authorities to let him quit his habit; that should be his prerogative. A smoker must not be bound by law to protect passers-by from his habit; rather, he should be bound by his sense of duty to his fellow man.


At 2:46 pm, Blogger Monto said...

Wow! Well said! I couldn't agree more!

At 7:17 pm, Blogger wt536 said...

I have a simple attitude: a smoker's freedom ends where I begin.

At 7:30 pm, Blogger Mark O'Brien said...

wt536, normally that's exactly what I'd say. But giving the State responsibility to protect you is another example of a process which has emasculated people for too long. Perhaps I'm just being too ideological about all of this. Perhaps a smoking bad is the technocratic and therefore only acceptable choice. But banning smoking in public is the lesser good. The greater good is for the smoker to take responsibility for his actions.


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