Pursuit of Happiness is my favorite unalienable right, and a cornerstone of American exceptionalism. No other Nation on earth has happiness written into its founding documents, so people from all over the world flood our borders trying to crash the party. But it seems that the agents of “Change” have stumbled onto a solution: by making America just as bleak and dismal as the rest of the world, they can make everyone stay home. Even the Department of Transportation is on the job.
My friend Louis took up electronic smoking about three years ago; partly because he was trying to quit, and partly because he was tired of going out into the cold Minneapolis winter, to huddle outside the restaurant with the other smokers after dinner.
It seemed like a perfect solution. electronic cigarettes offer the enjoyment of a smoke, without any of the nuisance. You don’t have to light one; it’s just a metal tube that releases a warm nicotine mist. There is even a little red light on the end, that glows when you draw in, so it looks like a cigarette.
It’s completely odorless and smokeless, and doesn’t have the carbon monoxide or tars that cause most of the health problems associated with cigarettes and second hand smoke. So there is no real reason for anybody to complain about electronic smoking.
I thought I might get one myself, because I enjoy the occasional cigar with a cocktail, and it would make a great drinking companion –especially on airplanes. I imagined myself flying across the country with a cigarette and Martini in classic Mad Men fashion. I started flying in an era when you could still book a seat in the smoking section; riding in a comforting veil of nicotine, as you contemplated all the things that could go wrong on a flight.
But Louis told me not to bother. I’m flying to Minneapolis to work at his club this week (Acme Comedy Company, Tuesday & Wednesday September 20 & 21) and he sent me this release. Apparently a lot of people have taken up electronic smoking to while away the hours; and the Department of Transportation aren’t happy.
The only proven health issue with electronic smoke is the possibility of stroke, as anti-smokers burst into red-faced rage at the sight of people enjoying themselves in public. It reveals something I’ve always suspected about the anti-smoking crowd: they are more concerned with people having fun, than they are about health
Making people put out an electronic cigarettes is the same kind of logic that has forced motion pictures to put smoking warnings at the front of their films. Apparently we’ve gotten so overprotective in society, that just the image of someone smoking is cautioned for its negative health consequences.
The DOT knows how ridiculous this sounds. They try to make a case for the ban by stressing that nobody yet knows the health consequences of electronic smoke. It’s not enough to protect us from real proven dangers; they need to protect us from the imagined ones as well. Heck by the same logic I don’t yet know the health consequences of the cell phone at the restaurant table next to me (and cell phones have been linked to cancer). Certainly I have the right to enjoy a meal without exposing myself to Second-Hand Cell.
I understand why people don’t want to sit in a smoky airplane for five hours. I also understand why people would want to spend those five hours smoking. (And I guarantee if I were on a plane that was going down, I’d be pestering my crash mates for a smoke.) But I can’t understand how anyone could be opposed to such a harmless activity, as electronic smoking.
At the very least, let’s segregate the electronic smokers. Put them in the back of the plane, so the anti-happiness passengers will have to severely crane their necks to be outraged. As long as we’re not endangering anyone, it is our unalienable right.
But to the Left, pursuit of happiness is no longer a right. They view it, like they view the Second Amendment: just an antiquated concept written by rich white men, into a flexible document, almost like a hundred years ago.