Smokers know we’re doing a bad thing, which is one reason why it’s so very good. But despite the things we have done, we’re not responsible for New York’s multi-billion dollar deficit. We’re one with you people who love french fries and a nice beverage and not getting hassled for taking photos in public places. Which is to say: when you’re fined for ripping open a salt packet in Bryant Park, don’t come crying to us.
Kaila Hale-Stern, “Keep Your Hands Off My 67-Cent Cigarettes” (via: the Awl)
I agree. Smokers get singled out for unhealthy behavior because it’s just so simple to do so– we can ban and tax cigarettes until there’s no tomorrow. What about the rest of society who are obese, sedentary, inactive, and bringing ill health upon themselves? Until we figure out a way to tax complex behaviors and poor lifestyle, smokers will continue to take the brunt of our public health frustrations. But, as we’re seeing, legislating good behavior doesn’t always work. So maybe it is about looking at ourselves as part of some greater good and taking some personal responsibility to not sap our health resources dry? Every cigarette we smoke, every day we skip being active, and every hamburger we eat devalues our bodies and our society (of course, we’ve got to factor in the value of having a good bit of old-fashioned let it all go fun!). It’s in our best interest to have a healthy population, and we all must play our part.