Kathy Posner

I still have not figured out why drinking alcohol is glamorized in America, but someone smoking a cigarette or cigar is tantamount to killing a baby. Oh, I forgot, killing babies is legal in the United States. Now in Bhutan, a small country south of China and northeast of India, abortion is illegal (and forbidden in the Buddhist religion) and has become the first country in the world to outlaw the sale of tobacco products. By the way, when it comes to drinking, according to the World Health Organization, the country has the highest per capita alcohol consumption of any country in South Asia and alcoholism is becoming one of the leading causes of death there. So have they banned alcohol? No. But they have banned the sale of cigarettes and have limited smokers to smoking less than seven cigarettes a day.

The Bhutanese Tobacco Control Act is 36 pages
and the preamble is quite eloquent:


“The Royal Government and People of Bhutan concerned with the physical health and well being of the people of Bhutan which are important elements of the development principle of Gross National Happiness..."

I love their use of the phrase “Gross National Happiness." I doubt if any legislation in America would ever be so expressive, but whose happiness are they talking about?

It continues with: “Recognizing the harmful effects of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke, from a spiritual and social health point of view…” additional fluent language, but what about the harmful effects of alcohol? Why just go after the smokers?

Bhutan actually first banned the sale of tobacco in 2005 (but did not limit the amount of tobacco one could have in their home) but the law did not have enough consequences and tobacco smuggling thrived. Thus the new law gives the police the power to enter a citizen’s home and check out how much tobacco they have in their possession. The Bhutan Narcotic Control Agency has already started raids with trained tobacco-sniffing dogs.

The Act contains a number of pages listing
penalties but my favorite is:

“Any person found with more than the permissible quantity for personal consumption under section 12 shall be guilty of the offense for smuggling and shall be punishable with minimum sentence of felony of fourth degree.”

Kenusel, Bhutan’s largest selling newspaper, wrote in an editorial, “When it comes to the penalties in the tobacco control act, it is, in every sense of the word, draconian.”

Legislative Opposition leader Tshering Tobgay wrote about the new law in his blog. “It’s a new year. And I have a new year’s wish: that the first person to be caught and jailed under the Tobacco Control Act is a member of parliament.”

Besides health reasons, Buddhists also believe that smoking is bad for one’s karma. I would love to see the United States Congress use that as a reason for some new law. Or even Gross National Happiness!


Editors Note: What they have done after hooking the smoking public for so many years is a crime. When I was growing up, they sold kids gum shaped cigarettes that blew smoke. This was their first step to get us hooked young in the United States. When I was 12, they would sell us cigarettes. We all smoked. They made us think it was cool. The commercials on television and ads in magazines that said come to where the flavor is, Marboro country, made smoking seem glamorous. Everyone had to smoke.

I can not quit at this point. They hooked all of us and now they are making us pay for it. Cigarettes are almost 15 dollars a pack in NYC. Every state needs more money, so where do they go. The smokers. They do not go to the people that drive the cars and create pollution. They want to ban smoking in Times Square, but I am supposed to breath all this car exhaust and I do not even drive a car. Yet they do not make the drivers pay for polluting the air we breath. They yell and scream about the cost that cigarettes cause on the health care system, but they never yell about alcohol that costs more to society nor do they raise alcohol taxes. People drink and drive and kill untold numbers in car accidents every year. They will tell you that we now have stiff drunk driving laws, but the reality is everyone still drives under the influence. You can not convince me that when you drive to a bar, that you will only have two drinks and then wait to get sober. Alcohol costs society more.

The politicians would do a better job making marijuana legal. You never read about someone killing themselves with marijuana smoking. If the elected officials want to make money off the vices of society, legalize marijuana. You would see how quick alcohol consumption dropped and you would see the states go from losing money to making money on the taxes that marijuana would bring in. You would see the states save billions on arresting and jailing marijuana smokers, and that money could be used to hire more police. The time the police would save from processing someone they arrested for smoking marijuana could be used to go after real crime.

The newest is non-smoking tenants in apartment buildings suing smokers. This story from the Mail Online is interesting. I also remember a case a couple of years ago. This guy bought a apartment in a building. He knew the old lady next door smoked, he had met her before the purchase, he was in her apartment, and yet he brought the apartment anyway. The guy was a lawyer. He moved in and promptly filed a lawsuit against this poor lady. She sealed her apartment, got air purifiers and he filed suit after suit. It was quite clear what he really wanted. He wanted her apartment too, so he could expand his purchase. When the media got a hold of the story and they blasted him for being a lawyer and using the court system to harass this poor old lady, he settled it, and of course it had a confidentially clause so this lady could never talk about it again.

This is what smokers have to go through. We were tricked at a young age to smoke, now everyone is after us. We have a addition just like a drug addict or alcoholic, yet we get treated worse. I am expected to walk through Times Square and breath all the exhaust from the cars and trucks, which has been proven to cause health problems. I am expected to deal with all the drunks walking around the city and in the bars and clubs, throwing up everywhere and fighting, yet I can not light up a cigarette just about anywhere. You can all yell and scream that we live in a free society, but we no longer do. Everyday they take more and more freedom away. When will America wake up?

Read more from Planet Posner here....


smoking facts said…
According to statistics more sudden deaths occur due to smoking, compared to the HIV / AIDS, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria as a serious illness together. Tobacco kills more than 5 million people each year. In practice, l ', breathing the smoke and taste began in 5000 BC Tobacco encountered often offensive, but still, it has become very popular. Relationship of tobacco and lung first recognized by German scientists. The first anti-smoking campaign was launched in 1920, but does not get a huge success. Instead, decreased, graphics, tobacco consumption continues to grow in developing countries.