Monday, February 2, 2009

Finally, a non-smoker who's sticking-up for smokers' rights

Today I'd like to focus your attention on an op/ed piece I found by Kyle Wrather, managing editor at The Reflector, the online student newspaper of Mississippi State University. Although Mr. Wrather is a self-proclaimed "non-smoker," he makes a good case for why society ought to lighten-up on those who choose to smoke cigarettes, or enjoy the relaxation of a good cigar or pipe.

Following are excerpts from Mr. Wrather's piece ttitled, "Society places too much heat on smokers," which I suggest you also read in its entirety:

...I'm not a smoker and have never had any desire to become one. But as a non-smoker, I sympathize with the smoker's cause. In today's world the average American smoker is demeaned, berated and treated like a second-class citizen. For example, Starkville's ban on smoking inside public establishments relegates local smokers to shiver in the rain and cold on rusty or wooden chairs...

...Not only are smokers people deserving of equal rights, they are patriots. Consider this: If Mississippi raises its tax on tobacco products to help fund our public education, then smokers are partly footing the bill for the education we as Mississippi State University students so eagerly seek. This could even be portrayed as promoting smoking on a state level...

...Many of our most prestigious and valued Americans have been smokers. Look at famed writers like Mark Twain, notable scientists like telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell and Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, who helped invent the atomic bomb, and famed actors like John Wayne or James Dean and the many ways they've contributed to our culture and lifestyle...

...President Barack Obama, on his campaign for office, took up the habit of smoking again, despite his previous attempts to quit.

This is not to say that we should try to imitate or emulate the smoking behaviors of these notable Americans, but we should remember that just because a person smokes, that does not mean they are below anyone else...

Regardless of their habits and origins, they all have one thing in common:...They're people just like you, me, John F. Kennedy, Popeye and Frank Sinatra.
Your thoughts?

~ G.K.

1 comment:

Eric said...

This seems to be a daily topic of discussion at the shop. I am glad to see some non-smokers understand the stereotype our society often places upon us. Thanks!