We have all been in a similar situation. It’s a nice evening, and you sit down on a park bench. A park is a place where people go to relax. You expect the air in a park to be of better quality than in the rest of the city around you. And it is. Until that ‘click’ of a lighter, or scrape of a match from the bench next to you means you are suddenly breathing in thousands of harmful chemicals.
The sickly smoke hits the back of your throat almost instantly, and it suddenly feels as though the whole world is engulfed in a noxious cloud of cigarette smoke.
And the worst thing?
You didn’t even get a choice.
But with even less choice are children. They can’t choose to walk away from a smoker holding their cigarette at hip height, so it drifts, slowly, silently and lethally towards their lungs, whilst they lay innocently in their push-chair. They cannot make that decision to leave a restaurant shrouded in tobacco fumes. But more importantly, this all means that they don’t have the power to make a simple choice about whether they should enjoy a healthy life, or suffer being, at the least uncomfortable, due to the choices of others.
That was one reason, of four, that I plan to highlight here today. Secondly, I will talk about health. You may be thinking ’That doesn’t concern me, I don’t smoke.’ But on the contrary. It does, both directly; in terms of the health risks associated with passive smoking, and indirectly; in terms of what comes out of your pocket.
Who pays for the treatment of lung cancer and heart disease patients on the National Health Service? Well partly you, out of your taxes, and many of these peoples’ conditions could have been avoided, simply by not smoking.
And how many times have you found yourself gasping for air, coughing and spluttering, due to that smoker next to you? It is obviously a danger to your health; you cannot honestly believe that