Volume 90, Issue 94

Friday, March 21, 1997



Smokers - weak willed?

Re: Smokers on campus

To the Editor:

Words cannot describe my disgust at the pathetic justifications of smokers trying to exonerate themselves of the damage they cause innocent people. While it may sound crude and filthy, this is a reasonable and perhaps, in light of the medical evidence, a far less harmful retaliation to a smoker in my air.

I propose that whenever confronted with a smoker, I should stand on their table, drop my trousers and urinate into their drink. While urine shares with cigarette smoke a most vile taste and the tendency to give need to next day dry-cleaning, it does not share the more insidious and loathsome effect of causing lung cancer, emphysema and early death for one indirectly exposed to it.

In the end, all the humour and semantics mean nothing. It comes down to the simple fact than when you smoke near me, you cause me harm, not some metaphorical or emotional harm, but real physical, measurable damage. I do not wish to be harmed, therefore, you will not smoke around me or anybody else who does not smoke – end of story. The fact that smokers are feeble-willed addicts suckling on the filthy nipples of a media fantasy, trying frantically to satiate a hunger for acceptance and belonging, does not absolve them from the consequences of their actions. Perhaps in their oxygen-deprived brains, swimming with carbon monoxide and toxic metals, smokers have constructed for themselves a reasonable moral framework in which their addiction somehow becomes a just cause and the pain and discomfort they cause to others is ignored.

Personal rights do not enter into the equation; nowhere could it be argued that since I have an addiction to sexist or racist behaviour, that I should be allowed to verbally assault whomever I please. Scream all you twisted epithets in the privacy of your own home, but when your actions have the potential to harm others, you must be restrained from doing so. Personal rights end when they infringe upon the well being of others, that is a moral code of the first order, understandable to all but the most nicotine-addled brains. I will not even try to appeal to the limited intelligence of smokers in trying to delve into the many other far-reaching and insidious moral questions raised by smoking.

So I appeal to all the non-smokers at Western, do not jeopardize your health merely to avoid offending an idiot. Don't ask nicely – silently walk, upwind and unleash upon them a furious flatulence, relieve yourself on their shoes, heck, give them a good harsh bash in the head without warning, it might jar loose some of the build-up in the capillaries of their brains and flood their minds with oxygen and maybe some common sense.

John Heder
Education I

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997