This past week, a small community in Nova Scotia created a bylaw that over the next couple of weeks will have many Canadians thinking and because it’s our right, some of those Canadians will be complaining.

The town is Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Never heard of it? Well it is also the home of Acadia University and approximately 3,600 permanent residents. This past Monday Wolfville’s city council voted 7-0 to ban smoking in vehicles when children under the age of 18 are present.

This is a revolutionary by-law which should be celebrated in the streets. For many of us non-smokers this seems like a no brainer.

But while this by-law is a huge leap in the right direction, it will most certainly re-ignite the debate of smoker’s rights. Smokers are Canadians too, and they often complain that governments are encroaching on their right to enjoy a good puff.

But do you know what? I don’t care any more. I don’t care about smoker’s rights. I don’t think any of us should. Smoking is many things. It’s disgusting. It’s dangerous. It’s expensive. And most importantly, it’s stupid. No wait, it’s really really stupid.

Can you think of any thing else in our society in which the health risks and costs are so clearly defined yet we still give credence to their often delusional opinions of their rights? Not only is smoking deadly, it’s been scientifically proven to be detrimental to the health of non-smokers. Remind me again why care so much how smokers feel?

Are we really supposed to feel bad for people who so obviously don’t care about themselves? The time for excuses is over. There is no benefit to smoking, and if you are a smoker and you believe that it is your right to smoke you are only fooling yourself, oh and you look like an idiot while doing it.

Like most addicts, smokers are excellent at making excuses. But you know what I do when I’m stressed? I go for a walk. I don’t fool myself into thinking that a little nicotine will sooth my troubled soul. (Also, in case you didn’t know, your nicotine addiction is actually causing the extra stress). And while the idea of huddling against a building smoking in the freezing temperature is pretty cool, you know what is cooler? Actually staying at the table with their friends at the restaurant. We invited you for a reason.

But I am not naive. We all have people in our lives that still smoke. Whether they are our grandparents or childhood friends, we still love them. But that doesn’t mean we support it. Whether they want to admit it or not smoking should be considered as dangerous as cocaine or crystal meth. Aren’t the effects of it just as dangerous?

The time of smoker’s rights is over. The days of “smoking Humphrey Bogart-cool” is done. Just like a disobedient child in a classroom, smokers must be taught what is right and what is wrong. We cannot keep making excuses for them. If you don’t respect yourselves, don’t expect us to do it for you.

Mike Morrison

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