When there’s smoke…

Some of you will probably hate me for saying this, but I’m glad our Government is clamping down further on smoking in public places. (A rare link to an existing Straits Times article – get it before it disappears for good)
Smoking can be considered a form of drug addiction. There’s nicotine in it and many more harmful substances than you want to know that ought to belong in a car or factory. Drug offenders hang for bringing in drugs to Singapore. Smokers get off with heavy taxes and self-inflicted cancer – and also affect the loved ones around them with second hand smoke. Killing someone instantly by mistake – in many other circles we might call it manslaughter. Fast death, slow death – does it matter, as long as it’s a death and causation can be proven? (I mean, German parents get into trouble for neglecting their child, resulting in her slow death.)
But the tobacco industry has hypnotised generations of people with the image of ‘coolness’. We are also exposed to many other images implying it is acceptable to smoke. I’m sure we’ve all seen a cigarette sticking out of the mouth of some Hollywood legend.
A friend of mine wanted to look cool at a bar in England and didn’t know what else to do, so he whipped out a cigarette. As a child, I too thought it was also cool to have a mock cigarette in my mouth. At the old Isetan, my favourite chocolates were the sticks that were wrapped in cigarette paper and put into a fake cigarette box. Then one day it was no longer on sale. I didn’t understand why.
Then I resorted to making fake cigarettes by putting baby powder onto a sheet of paper, rolling it up and blowing into it, creating the illusion of smoke.
My endeavours to mimic the Malborough Man ended with me slipping on my own powder and slicing my ear on a table corner, requiring me to go to the A&E unit where my own father had to stitch me up.
So, you could say that smoking was very bad for my health.


  1. A Smoker

    I am a smoker for 15 years or more. I shouldn’t have start. Ask any smokers and they will tell you that they know the health risks to themselves and other non-smokers. In fact, during this 15 or more years I had attempted countless time to quit but were unsuccessful. No one to blame. It’s my weak will power.
    I really hope that the Singapore Government could completely ban the cigarette import. I am a smoker and will be the first one to raise both my hands in approval. Unable to access to cigarette, I think I will definitely quit for good. I think most smoker would agree with me. Why must the Government go to such great length to restrict the smokers in public places. By the way, what is the meaning of “PUBLIC”? If the government really wants to deter smoker and help smoker to quit, take up the challenge “BAN” cigarette import.
    Don’t forget that the cigarette cost about SGD11.00 for a pack of 20 sticks. It’s expensive. I felt the pinch already but I just could not quit… because the cigarette is easily accessible. Did you notice that we have more choices (brand of cigarette) than before. I think the person who implement or come up with the policy(or whatever you call it) is a non-smoker. Isn’t it better to restrict the access of cigarette than to restrict smoking in public places. Allow sale of cigarette in certain place.
    Smoker paid hefty tax to smoke. If the government is serious on detering smoking, they should put more serious effort in helping smoker to quit. Look at those medication that aid smoker to quit like nicorette pad, gum and even Zyban. It’s expensive. Shouldn’t the government use some of the tax money to subsidize these medication. A piece of gum cost 0.59 cents and a stick of cigarette cost 0.55 cents. As a smoker, I don’t really see what the government is trying to do.
    By the way, I don’t feel cool when I light a cigarette.

  2. vantan

    Dear Smoker
    That was a very good comment. If you want, I could pass it on to the people who influence the smoking laws (but it might be more authentic to get your contact details as well).
    You’re right, coming to think of it, the legislators may not be smokers themselves. And which smoker would want to legislate against it?

Comments are closed.