Think About It: Butt No… - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 22, 2013

Think About It: Butt No…

Smoking will be banned January 1st at all Honolulu parks and beaches, as well as at the thousands of city bus stops due to City Council passed bills. While many, if not most, people applaud these actions, there are some who see this as yet one more effort by "the man" to curtail personal freedoms and rights. Well, the argument could be made that heroin use is a personal choice, but that addictive habit is illegal, so there is surely precedent to keep people from harming themselves and possibly others already on the books.

Smoking is a life choice and a personal habit, but the effects of secondhand smoke, the ubiquitous cigarette butts strewn in years past, and the long-term medical costs make the art of smoking a costly habit on a number of fronts. As nicotine has been known to be an addictive product for years with horrible health hazards, one has to wonder why the cigarette has not gone the way of the hash pipe or crystal meth; that is to say- ban them all together.

The major reason that hasn't occurred is simply economics. There is a real big U.S. industry that makes and markets tobacco products of all sorts, and as long as its lobbying efforts stifle any serious discussion about an all-out ban on this addictive product, we will continue to see government efforts on the local level reduce the available public smoking places. So the only smoke you should be seeing in even more public places on January 1st next year is from legally permitted fireworks, but that's a whole ‘nother story. Think about it…

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