Oh yeah, this is a *brilliant* idea

“I’m looking for Gale Brewer, citizen, to be able to say to the other citizen: ‘Excuse me, sir, but that’s illegal. You really can’t smoke here,’ ” said Ms. Brewer, the councilwoman who introduced the bill (banning smoking in public places such as beaches and parks) at the City Council meeting on Thursday.

Because, of course, the people whose own lives are so pathetically worthless that they feel the need to make someone with a physical addiction to nicotine feel like shit for it, what they definitely needed was more encouragement.

And the, “Your smoking affects my health!” line of defense for this assholic behavior is complete and utter crap. Yes, cigarettes are an amalgam of poisonous substances. They’re also incredibly ineffective at doing harm – cigarettes take years of constant direct use to ill-effect the body, much longer still to kill you, and even then you could very well never end up dying from a smoking-related illness. Now think about infrequent, indirect exposure to the byproduct of those substances… and you’re worried about your health? Are you shitting me?

That’s not a rhetorical question, either. If you’re one of the busybodies who’s taken it upon yourself to police the public at large, ask yourself why you’re doing it. Is it because you’ve sat down, gone over the relevant material and came away honestly convinced that the occasional whiff of smoke you inhale isn’t just a minor annoyance, but a health-threatening invasion of your rights by the Big Bad Smoker? Or can you admit that the whole “threat to my health” thing is just a bullshit canard you can use to allow yourself to feel good about putting other people down, to bask in the glow of your own moral righteousness as you highlight and confront the failings of others in the most embarrassing, condescending and nauseatingly sanctimonious way possible?

Ironic how at the same time we’re making progress on the marijuana front we’re going backwards with tobacco. Or maybe it’s not ironic – maybe it’s just sad, and I say that as someone who’s not a big user of either. Leave people the fuck alone – if they want to indulge in an unhealthy habit, that’s their prerogative. And don’t just leave them alone, but stop looking down your noses at them, you smug fucking toolbags, because you in all likelihood partake in a vice or two of your own, whether it’s alcohol or junk food or whatever.

To put it another way:

First they came for the potheads, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a pothead. Then they came for the smokers, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a smoker. Then they came for my Guinness, and I shot them in the face and raised a glass over their grave.

True story.