De toekomst voor de roker

Hoe ziet de toekomst eruit voor de roker als de huidige trend zou doorgaan? Deportaties? Opsluitingen? Werkkampen?

En hoe zal het gaan met de aanpak van de andere ‘lifestyle ziektes’?

Een columnist in de Philly News gunt ons een blik in de toekomst..

Smoke-free city

It arrived in stages, cloaked in garments of health protection. Smoking was a definable evil, and since it was a menace to public health, something had to be done.

Smoking quickly was ushered out of the workplace and into the street. This was a profound change in American life, and in Philadelphia it happened without government decree.

Once cleansed from the workplace, smoking quickly was banned from places where the public paid to assemble outdoors, such as sports stadiums.

A few people wailed about individual rights and civil liberties, but no one much listened.

Restaurants were targeted next. While there was resistance here and there, it was ineffective.

With the public convinced, however wrongly, that any contact with cigarette smoke was deadly, smoking next was banned from the streets, parks, even windswept beaches. It became illegal to smoke anywhere in public.

A few people wailed about individual rights and civil liberties, but no one much listened.

The anti-smoking forces crossed an important threshold when they created a link between public health and public morality. Once smokers were found to be evil, what came next was predictable.

The guardians of public health heard from apartment dwellers who complained smoke from their neighbors’ cigarettes crept under their doors and threatened their health. They demanded protection.

And since it was a menace to public health, something had to be done.

So it happened that smokers were evicted – they had no one to blame but themselves, really – and removed to Southwest Philly, where the refineries had been shut down in 2008 after it was discovered the land itself was a fiesta of toxic carcinogens.

Honest neighbors were moved out, smokers were moved into what was known as “Tobacco Town,” which sounded so much more idyllic than “Smokers’ Ghetto.” As for the cancer threat, the smokers were all going to get cancer anyway, so what’s the big deal?

With the apartment dwellers relocated, it wasn’t long before smoking homeowners were nailed to the bull’s-eye. Not many thought this could happen, but they were wrong. The Supreme Court upheld the action and they were “re-placed” – in Tobacco Town. It was eminent domain with a health rationale.

Smokers’ children, of course, were removed to foster homes to protect them from second-hand smoke.

Most people – nonsmokers, anyway – were pleased with their good work, but their Crusade still had not reached Jerusalem.

Employers announced they would not hire people who smoked, even if they smoked only on their own time, in their own homes – which, of course, were in Tobacco Town.

Next, employers fired current employees who smoked. This was not so much for public health as profits. They complained some smokers were out sick more than some nonsmokers, so smokers increased health insurance costs and the cost of business. (Most of these same employers later dropped health coverage for all workers because the insurance itself drove up the cost of business.)

To protect employers from unwittingly hiring a tobacco user – you know how devious and selfish “those people” are – smokers were required to sew a large, green “S” on their garments so they would be known. The “S” also helped keep them in their place, Tobacco Town, because with no jobs they had nowhere to go anyway. And decent people didn’t want them around.

A few people wailed about individual rights and civil liberties, but no one much listened.

The obese, people with heart disease and women with breast cancer in their family history would be shown the door in coming years, after employers were given the right by the Supreme Court to see medical records before hiring.

A few people wailed about individual rights and civil liberties, but no one much listened, and all the smokers had died.

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  • "Es ist schwieriger, eine vorgefaßte Meinung zu zertrümmern als ein Atom."
    (Het is moeilijker een vooroordeel aan flarden te schieten dan een atoom.)
    Albert Einstein

  • "Als je alles zou laten dat slecht is voor je gezondheid, dan ging je kapot"
    Anonieme arts

  • "The effects of other people smoking in my presence is so small it doesn't worry me."
    Sir Richard Doll, 2001

  • "Een leugen wordt de waarheid als hij maar vaak genoeg wordt herhaald"
    Joseph Goebbels, Minister van Propaganda, Nazi Duitsland

  • "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
    Mahatma Gandhi

  • "There''s no such thing as perfect air. If there was, God wouldn''t have put bristles in our noses"
    Coun. Bill Clement

  • "Better a smoking freedom than a non-smoking tyranny"
    Antonio Martino, Italiaanse Minister van Defensie

  • "If smoking cigars is not permitted in heaven, I won't go."
    Mark Twain

  • I've alllllllways said that asking smokers "do you want to quit?" and reporting the results of that question, as is, is horribly misleading. It's a TWO part question. After asking if one wants to quit it must be followed up with "Why?" Ask why and the majority of the answers will be "because I'm supposed to" (victims of guilt and propaganda), not "because I want to."
    Audrey Silk, NYCCLASH