There is one very important sentence we need erase from the vocabulary of every smokefree advocate in the world. "I respect your right to smoke." What are we really saying when we utter these words? We are apologizing for exercising our right to protest the contamination of the air we all breathe! We are playing right into the hands of the tobacco industry and every nicotine addict who can't find the strength or will to quit smoking. There is no right to smoke! Whenever we say, "I don't care if you smoke as long as you don't blow it into my lungs," we are giving them permission to smoke wherever they think it doesn't harm us. We need to be very clear that the only solution to the tobacco pandemic is for all smokers to quit smoking. Whether we think that is feasible or not, it needs to be our mantra. We are dealing with drug addicts who are addicted to one of the most addictive, lethal substances being sold legally to the public. Like all other addicts, they are desperate to protect their addictions. They search for every opportunity to protect their addictions regardless of the risks to everyone else. If we are ever going to win this game, we need to ask ourselves how each and every one of us participates in allowing smoking to continue to be socially acceptable. By accepting the projection, "people against tobacco are intolerant," we prolong the process of eliminating tobacco from our lives. It doesn't make someone a good person when they tolerate the intolerable!

The Smokefree Bill of Rights

  1. Everyone has the right to breathe clean air, free from toxins and harmful substances including cigarette smoke.
  2. Everyone has the right to work in an environment free from toxins and harmful substances including cigarette smoke.
  3. Everyone has the right to equal access to all public spaces, commercial and non-commercial. It is the responsibility of those who have charge of these public spaces to insure that they are free from toxins and harmful substances including tobacco smoke.
  4. Everyone has the right to equal access to all transportation whether public or commercial. Everyone has the right to expect that all areas leading to and from said transportation will be free from toxins and harmful substances including tobacco smoke. Everyone has the right to ride public or commercial transportation free from toxins or harmful substances including tobacco smoke.
  5. Everyone has the right to protest exposure to toxins and harmful substances including tobacco smoke anyplace at any time. There is no right, personal or commercial, which supersedes the rights of everyone to breathe clean air.

Responsibilities of Those Who Have Chosen to Smoke

  1. Smokers must take responsibility for the choice to smoke It is unreasonable to expect people who don't smoke to be inconvenienced so smokers won't be inconvenienced by their own addictions. Whenever the needs of nicotine addicts are considered those needs are always satisfied at the expense of other people's rights to breathe clean air
  2. Smokers must take responsibility for their smoke and the harm it does to others. Smoking should be banned everywhere there is danger of harming others.
  3. Smokers who are unable or unwilling to overcome the incredible addiction to nicotine must take personal responsibility for their own plight. It is unfair to blame persons who want to breathe clean air for the difficulties cigarette smoking causes in the smoker's personal life.

Responsibilities of the Tobacco Industry

  1. The tobacco industry must take responsibility for its deliberate attempt to addict persons, including children, to their tobacco products.
  2. The tobacco industry must take responsibility for decades of deception, suppression and discrediting scientific research, and deliberate attempts to intimidate those who protested these unfair actions.
  3. The tobacco industry must take responsibility for suppressing its own scientific research which proved the dangers of secondhand smoke, the addictive power of nicotine and the link of tobacco smoke to cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
  4. The tobacco industry must take responsibility for using its great wealth and power for a worldwide campaign to make tobacco smoke pollution culturally acceptable so they could continue to profit. This practice continues today in an aggressive blatant manner.
  5. The tobacco industry must take responsibility for all of the illnesses, discomfort, deaths and financial hardships that have resulted from its actions and abuses.

Responsibilities of Governments

  1. Governments need to take responsibility for protecting it's citizens from the dangers of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.
  2. Smoking should be banned from all public places with no exceptions. Laws need to be passed without tobacco industry sponsored loopholes that render them unenforcible.
  3. All smoking bans should be backed up with fines levied on offenders. Regular police officers should be empowered to levy those fines. Repeat offenders should be imprisoned.
  4. Smoking in the presence of someone who has requested a smokefree environment should be considered an assault.
  5. Politicians should be restricted from receiving political donations from corporations because of conflict of interest.


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