Of ‘No Smoking’ Laws

This post I had referred to, in an earlier post. And said that I had more to say about it.

What caught me was Suchismita’s attitude towards the ‘no smoking in public places’ law that the Health Minister recently passed. Here’s what she says:

First there was Ramadoss that acted the big daddy and barred smoking in “public places” without explaining what public places he was talking about. So now because of one whim Doss Almighty had one day over tea, people like you and me are looking for corners where we can smoke. We are lepers you see, we have to be ostracized because consideration is reserved for people who turn their pretty noses up when they smell cigarettes half a mile away.

Hm. Yes, the guy messed up, in not defining ‘Public Place’ sharply enough. He has moreover acted in very weird ways before, on the subject of smoking, and on which I have commented earlier.

And yet, I do not agree that the law is unfair.

Smoking is a personal choice, as is anything else that we choose to indulge in. And yet, that choice, that freedom, extends only as long as we do not infringe on someone else’s choice, and that person’s freedom! You, Suchismita, are free to indulge in smoking, but are not free to force others to breathe in the toxic gases that you are contributing to the air that they breathe!

Suchismita, whatever your limits are on things that you enjoy indulging in / have tried / don’t mind seeing around you, I am sure you have your own upper limits too. Would you feel very comfortable if another person indulged in something that was beyond your upper limit of tolerance, and moreover forced you to be a passive participant in that act?

I think not.

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