Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Smoke Free vs. Smoker Freedom

There was a headline story today about the Westin hotel chain becoming entirely smoke-free. Smoking is one of those topics where my gut and my brain are at odds. On the one hand, I am violently allergic to cigarette smoke and have a strong physical reaction just being in a room where someone smoked within the past day. I'm even bothered in the vicinity of smokers outdoors. So from that standpoint, I wish smoking would totally cease, not just from hotels but from the world.

However, my moderate political nature recoils at all-or-nothing approaches. I've never had a problem getting a smoke-free room at hotels, without a blanket ban being necessary. I'm all for preventing smoking in places where the second-hand smoke can harm others, but private hotel rooms don't seem to fit that bill. If someone is foolish and/or addicted enough to still be a smoker, I'm not sure it should be anyone's job but theirs to stop themselves. Not a hotel chain's, and especially not the government's.

I also feel that sometimes, the best way to make a point is not through regulation but through humor. I liked the series of anti-smoking ads from a few years ago aimed at teens, which compared kissing a smoker to licking an ashtray, etc. And this website is the greatest! Anyone remember the corresponding commercials during the Superbowl a few years ago?


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