Huff And Puff After The New Year Smoking Snuff

NOTA RAZAK CHIK

Huff And Puff After The New Year Smoking Snuff

The new year has made all smokers dying for – what else, a smoke! The only place they can now light up appears to be – where?

Is the air within three, 30 or 300 meters around you now suddenly carbon monoxide (and hydrogen cyanide), nicotine-free and not so sickly-sisha sweet anymore? My chemistry may not be on point, but you get the drift – yes, everything to do with wind and smoke and air – since the advent of the new year, the biggest bugbear for non-smokers has been snuffed out.

I, for one, have waited oh…for soooooo looong for a government; any government; to have the resolve, determination – no cojones if not the temerity; to do THIS –THE RIGHT THING!!

Remember when you cringed in discomfort each time your nostrils are assaulted by acrid smoke from your inconsiderate neighbour sitting across the table in that mamak restaurant in Jalan Ampang?

I was hoping a party like PAS would be in the forefront of opposition to ban a habit that is forbidden – haram, but to me, their silence is deafening

There, at another table, I see an inconsiderate daddy puffing away while mom tends to a bawling 18-month old mewling baby - criminal!

So, it is all about freedom isn’t it? My freedom to unpolluted air, and your freedom to puff to your heart’s content – on which common ground shall the twain ever meet?

We shall not rake over the coals and stir the glowing embers on the pros and cons of nicotine addiction.

But one cannot run away from the facts  – its deleterious health effects to smoker and innocent bystander (and that baby); cost to the health services, opportunity cost in loss of productivity.

Weigh that against the income to the treasury from tax revenues – but hey, wait for it; income from excise duties are nullified by the outflow from health costs attributed to smoking and lung disease!

I was hoping a party like PAS would be in the forefront of opposition to ban a habit that is forbidden – haram, but to me, their silence is deafening.

Should this ban become an issue in the 15th General Elections, I would not like to hazard a guess where the opposition would pitch its marker on this one.

Has the move stoked so much anger from the die-hard smokers (I would like Rafizi Ramli’s Invoke to provide intel on exactly how many smokers there are out there) whose votes would swing the pendulum one way or the other.

What is the solution? Provide space – there is this media company which shall remain nameless that generously cordoned off a bit of open-air garden space for this purpose. Its grateful workforce cheekily dubbed it Jurassic Park – for the smokers can go about their (dare I say it – filthy) habit unmolested.

By the way, my biggest beef is the brazen disregard of the no smoking law – in toilets. I grew up on the ditty that a little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down, but I can never for the life of me equate pleasure with pooping while puffing – or is it the other way round.

For a tongue-in-cheek take on the the smoking ban, please see Nota Razak Chik segment.