Code red smog

Air polution is a major problem in China after rapid industrialisation.

Beijing haiku:

A man on a bench in code red smog
pulls down his mask
To drag on a cigarette.

Kittycatkin: Too many syllables; a haiku has 17, 5-7-5

Proper (Kittycatkin) version:

Man in Code Red smog-
sits on bench, pulls down his mask,
lights a cigarette.

Embedded image permalink

 

Should we do more to reduce tobacco use?

Smoking kills. I’m fortunate that I’ve never been addicted to nicotine, I’ve never been a smoker. But I did grow up in a smoking household.

My father ended up dying of emphysema, that can be directly attributed to the addiction he often struggled to break but never succeeded until his lungs finally completely turned to mush and he slowly ran out of breath.

My mother smoked as a young teenager through to young adulthood. She gave up once for several years, then succumbed again to nicotine addiction until she finally quite for good when she was in her late forties. She eventually died of oesophageal cancer, difficult to know if that was related to tobacco damage or not.

So I’m a fan of seeing the end of tobacco use. I think smoking should be actively discouraged.

Should we do more?

There are already extensive measures in place to reduce tobacco use, including age restrictions, display restrictions, quit smoking assistance and increasing taxes. It won’t be long until it’s a dollar a fag.

Should we do more? There are proposals to legally insist on no branding of cigarettes, tooting at anyone smoking in a car (Tariana Turia’s suggestion, one that I strongly disagree with), even banning completely.

I think the current measures are probably close to or at the maximum required. It’s working – smoking numbers keep reducing.

We are limiting where people can smoke, substantially increasing the cost, and discouraging tobacco use extensively.

But people still have rights to do what they like, if the harm they do is only to themselves. That’s there choice.

And we can’t expect lifelong addictions to stop overnight.

As hard as it is to see someone die slowly due to tobacco, as I have, we can’t force too much on individuals.

I think we are probably doing enough now.