June 1, 2006
by Dental Practice Management
So now we have a ‘comprehensive’ smoking ban in Quebec and Ontario. The gist of the legislation goes like this: smokers can only smoke if the letter ‘Q’ appears in their first name and if they were born on the 12th of never. Smokers can no longer smoke near anything or anyone and on no days of the week. Smokers can no longer smoke in public places or in private spaces. Puffers in Ontario can’t puff on patios with a roof, even if the roof only partially covers patrons. Veterans can’t smoke in legion halls, droolers can’t smoke at Hooter’s and the world as we know it is going to hell.
Personally, I just don’t get it. Smoking kills, although, as Sharon Stone noted in the movie Diabolique, not reliably). I’ve never smoked. Well, there was this one time in my mid-teens. I bought a pack of, I think the brand was called Vantage. Nice, white pack with an orange BULLSEYE on the cover. I was home alone, sat down inside the back door, screen open, lit the match, inhaled, gagged, forgot to blow out the match, burned my fingers, dropped the match on the carpet, stomped on the match with my bare foot, came close to setting my long hair on fire with the still lit cigarette. Now out on the patio, I threw the cigarette into the goldfish pond, flicked the match over the neighbor’s fence and scooped the dead goldfish out of the pond the next morning.
More than 700 businesses in Ontario — primarily independent, adult-oriented hospitality establishments such as pubs, bars and nightclubs — built designated smoking rooms (DSRs). The cost of installing a DSR ranged from $15,000 to $300,000. These small business owners invested in DSRs in good faith to comply with one level of government. Now they are being told by another level of government that their investment is worthless. The hospitality industry in Ontario is a $21-billion business employing 491,000 people. It is made up of 25,000 establishments of which 60 percent are small, independent businesses.
The Quebec law also applies to bingo halls, shopping centres, pool halls, bowling alleys, convention centres, common areas in apartment buildings of six to 12 units, meeting halls, private clubs, tents and churches.
Wasn’t it Pierre Trudeau who said, in effect, that government had no place in the bedrooms of the nation (and I suspect he would have extended that to cover the refrigerators and the bathrooms as well)? How much coddling is too much? And doesn’t excessive babying lead to excessive babies? Smokers who smoked for decades should not have the right to sue tobacco companies. For heaven’s sake, there was an Anti-Cigarette League in the 1920s. In the early 1960s, articles in medical journals and the popular press, not to mention a prominent report by the US Surgeon General, cited smoking as a leading cause of lung cancer and heart disease (not to mention oral diseases).
If you are fired for consistently showing up late for work, you cannot sue your employer because you suffer from, ‘chronic lateness syndrome.’
A man who freely admitted to having exposed himself between 10 thousand and 20 thousand times (and been convicted of such more than 30 times) is turned down for a job as a park attendant because of his arrest record. He sues on the grounds that he never exposed himself in a park, only in libraries and Laundromats.
If you engage in risky behaviour, buck up.
And while we’re at it, chubby, get out of your Hummer, put down that cheeseburger and fix me a martini.