Smoking – an act of aggression?

Should smoking in the presence of unwilling recipients of carcinogens be considered an act of aggression?

In the United States alone, approximately 50,000 people die from second hand smoke every year. That’s FIFTY THOUSAND PEOPLE.

Second hand smoke is similar to a sort of delayed Russian roulette. You might get lucky, or you might not. Every time a smoker smokes next to you, they’re creating a toxic environment around you. An environment that houses numerous carcinogens, as well as lethal doses of radioactive isotopes.

Short of wearing a gas mask (which would probably get you arrested) there’s no way to effectively avoid smoke while walking around town (I try to hold my breath, but I still get lung-fulls of the stuff).

If a criminal assaulted you with a syringe of deadly poison that may or may not kill you a few years from now, would you not have the right to retaliate? How is releasing four thousand chemicals into the air you breath any different?

I think on their own property, and as long as this smoke doesn’t get anywhere else (in apartment buildings it does), smokers should be able to smoke whatever substances they wish.

But outside, in a public place, when statistics show that second-hand smoke annually kills more people than car crashes?

As a libertarian, I consider smoking in my vicinity, when not on your own property, to be an act of aggression. I am an unwilling, non-consenting recipient of carcinogens. Unfortunately, right now there’s nothing I can (legally) do about it.

And waiting for the average smoker to gain some sense of compassion for others is asinine. Why would they care about the lives lost by second-hand smoke, when they don’t even care about their own lives?

How many more millions of people worldwide will die of second hand smoke before something changes?

I think that if the smoke enters someone else’s property, and they disagree, they ought to be able to sue for health damages. Not only are smokers not bearing the full brunt of their health decisions because of socialized medical care, but they’re not footing the bill for all the negative externalities they’re causing to others in the form of health problems, either!

I would love to hear what you think. If you leave a comment, for full disclosure please specify whether you’re a smoker or not.

(This post has been edited since it was originally posted, because I’ve had a second look at my wording and realized it might seem as though I’m advocating an initiation of aggression against smokers, which is not the case.)

2 thoughts on “Smoking – an act of aggression?”

  1. If you were to look back at the so called “grass roots” movement that started all the hubub back in the late 80s, early 90s, you’d see it was actually paid activists who started it all. Just so you know,nicotine could not be shown to be addictive in lab/animal testing like cocaine, heroin, etc. can. Any figures used to blame cancer on 2nd hand or directly smoking are fabricated. Note the only state that has actual figures is Calif. The ACS (in the fine print) says all figures are estimates. Plus, there is no (got that? no) direct causals between smoking/2nd hand smoke and cancer. It’s just something villified so it’s easy to tax heavy and no one complains. You’ll notice the same strategies are in use against other things, like firearms,etc. It’s simply a tried and true tactic of propaganda first used by Hitler to indoctrinate a populace so one aspect can be seen as evil so no wrong done them is ever defended. Note, the REAL figures were available online for free, when it started getting out as more common knowledge that nothing you heard was true, these avenues were shut down except for those on a GOVERNMENT grant…results of any so called studies (which are more like polls, today) can be adequately screened, edited controlled. And you want to create MORE violence in the world if you see someone doing something you, personally, don’t like? Looks like libertarians do not, in fact, believe in freedom…just a different color of political correctness and control of a sheep-like populace. Oh, well…I’ll just continue to roll my own to avoid draconian taxes and oppression, avoid going any place where I’m prejudiced against, and always be ready to put some fanatic like you on your butt when you act aggressively towards me and mine. Good luck to any who by this nonsense and claim to still believe in freedom.

    1. Next you’re going to tell me smoke doesn’t contain radioactive Polonium-210 and Lead-210 which provide around as much radiation per 5.5 cigarettes as a full chest X-ray. See here:

      It turns out that tobacco companies have been using radioactive fertilizer and pesticides for decades, and may have been aware of this since the 70’s, but did nothing about it.

      Also, most libertarians will probably disagree with me on this point. Most libertarians I see defend the right of smokers to smoke as they want, and to some extent I agree. For example, I don’t think that pubs, restaurants, and other public places should have regulations telling them whether they can allow public smokers or not. Their property rights should be respected, and they should decide that for themselves. Thus, there are restaurants with rooms dedicated to smokers, and non-smokers. Those restaurants that don’t provide such facilities will lose customers, thus providing them with an incentive to respect their customer’s wishes.

      Since cigarette smoke harms the person smoking, explain to me how exactly it won’t harm people nearby who breath in the same air?
      My concern was with smoking that cannot be avoided. For example, while walking down the street, the air around me is often polluted by toxic carcinogens and radioactive particles from smoke. When living in many apartment buildings, tobacco smoke from neighbors constantly finds its way into the apartment, despite this obviously being an infringement of my (or my landlord’s) property. When I open the windows, Lo and Behold, half the time a smoker is standing right outside. Smokers don’t give the slightest care about their own health, so why would they care about mine?

      In any case, you’ve:

      1. Attempted to make tobacco companies look like innocent victims, and the vast body of science showing tobacco’s harmful effects to be nonsense.

      2. Tried to link my opinion to Hitler.

      3. Tried to make it seem as though my opinions somehow reflect the opinions of every libertarian, and based on that are now dismissing them.

      I’ll leave your comment, but I must say you do look a lot like a troll. I assume you are so defensive (and rambling) because you:

      1. Are a smoker yourself (you didn’t specify, despite me asking this in the post of any comments),

      2. Are creating a bubble of disinformation for yourself about the harm you’re doing to your own body to justify your habit and not have to challenge it,

      3. Do not want to accept the possibility that your habit may be hurting those around you.

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