As a vaper, and as the proprietor of an E-cigarette-based blog/website, I spend a lot of my day arguing against the shady methods utilized by the Big Tobacco corporations, and their supporters, in their fear-driven fight against the booming electronic cigarette industry. I’d like to take this moment to clarify that this by NO MEANS makes me sympathetic to those militant, anti-tobacco-cigarette zealots out there who produce schlock like one article recently published by Urban Times, online. I’ve decided, after long consideration, to not provide the link to this article, because I don’t even want to grant this knucklehead the satisfaction of seeing increased site traffic referred to him via my site. The article in question, entitled Let’s Talk about Rape and Smoking, is not only repulsive, vulgar in both language and suggestion, and offensive to the ear of anyone who is capable of writing beyond the lowered expectations of today’s typical high school sophomore… it also succeeds in being the single-most disturbing thing I think I’ve read since Adolph Hitler’s insane little scribblings about some disturbing, slumber-induced imagery of his.
The article in question suggests (and I apologize if any of the language I use is offensive… I’m only relaying the writing verbatim from the the original post) that during rape, the criminal attempts to “fuck-you-and-cum-inside-you,” which the author implies is tantamount (even if he doesn’t know what that word means) to exhaling second-hand smoke and “inserting it” into the lungs of unwilling participants. I suppose to the unintelligent man, wholly and completely untrained in even the most pedestrian of logical thought processes, this argument might hit somewhere near the mark of being kinda, sorta valid, even if extremely exaggerated. The problem here, outside of the very obvious irreverence, is that shoehorning words into a sentence in order to force a perceived similarity with another, unrelated sentence, is semantic manipulation, and the art of semantics has very little to do with the science of logic. If one were to use the form of this argument as it stands, only using different subject matter (premises), one could similarly argue that expectorating saliva out of a mouth onto the ground in the vicinity of a family picnic is the same as expelling fecal matter from a rectum onto the dining table at Buckingham Palace… at dinner time… during a Presidential visit. Or even that rain falling from the sky into a swimming pool already filled to capacity is the same as the pyroclastic surge of a violently-erupted volcano blasting through a city which is already growing their crops just dandy in the mineral-rich, volcanic soil of the valley around the mountain.
Obviously, the formal elements of this argument are somewhat flawed… but that’s just the logical side of things. Let’s touch, for just a moment, on that unpopular topic of morals and social responsibility. Can someone who draws a parallel between the violent crime of rape and the passive act of delivering second-hand smoke through normal exhalation be found culpable, morally-speaking, of malicious intent? Of false accusation? Or, in terms more recognizable to most of us, of bearing false witness against a neighbor? The concept of intention is something that has long been, and will continue to be heavily considered when judging one’s actions. This very concept is what draws the well-known line between first-degree murder and manslaughter… and that is a very important line to be drawn. Is the intent of a smoker the same as the intent of a rapist? I doubt even the most vehement anti-smoking lobbyists could agree with that, in good conscience. In order for this to be true, smokers (ALL smokers) would need to walk around all day purposefully exhaling smoke into other people’s faces, repeatedly for enough years to actually present even the smallest possibility of damage, with the intention of murdering them with cancer… or at least “impregnating” them with cancer, to steal a phrase from object of this critique. This is an incredibly far jump over a vast chasm of reason to arrive at the conclusion claimed by the author of Let’s Talk about Rape and Smoking, so far so that one must call into question the intentions of the author himself.
At this point, I’d like to contend, for the sake of argument, that the author of such statements as those mentioned above would have to really want to hurt and purposefully disgrace and disparage an entire subculture of people (in this case, smokers) to draw such an unreasonably far-fetched correlation. If I don’t have a personal beef with, oh… let’s say suicidal “emo” teenagers, for example, I wouldn’t really have any impetus to look for a correlation between their “cutting” behaviors, and advertisements for Norelco electric razors. If I really had a serious bone to pick with those little emo bastards, on the other hand, I might decide to stretch the boundaries of reasonable measures in order to draw some sort of parallel between the two. However, that would most certainly be a malicious and socially irresponsible claim, which I’m sure nobody in their right mind, or even left mind, would dream of supporting.
Now, onto the whole “bearing false witness” thing. This, for me at least, is the most appalling part of the article… and here’s why: While reading the article, an alien from another planet who has never stood outside of their crash-landed UFO would be lead to the conclusion that smokers regularly… almost on a minutely basis… smoke inside of non-smoking establishments. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a smoker light up inside of a non-smoking restaurant, or in an airplane, or a hospital, etc. In fact, most smokers I know have been intimidated to the point of not even lighting up a tobacco cigarette at outdoor locations such as carnivals, fairs, concerts, etc, where smoking is not prohibited. The author of Let’s Talk about Rape and Smoking is purposefully and maliciously misrepresenting all smokers with the intent of bringing them to “justice” based on his gross injustice of reason. In the vernacular, this sort of thing is known as lying, and I find it horrifically repulsive, especially in the context of some unintelligent ball-of-hatred-and-ill-will waxing journalistic on a website which purports to deliver the “news.”
All in all, I must say that the mere existence of this article represents a new low in the considerably over-hyped “war” against tobacco. It goes without saying nowadays, and even 50 or 100 years ago, that there is something about smoking that is unhealthy. It makes people cough. Sometimes it makes people cough themselves to death. It can even make the occasional bystander cough. A few companies figured out a way to put chemicals into tobacco that managed to make that cough even more harmful to the cougher. All of this considered, however, is not enough to elevate any of these claims to the level of “crime,” let alone first-degree felony crime. Some rapists may smoke, and all smokers are rapists? Seriously? This makes about as much sense as suggesting that some rapists wash their hands, therefore all hand-washers are rapists. The suggestion itself is evidence of pure lunacy… as is the authoring and exhibition of this article in the first place. But since we’re making far-fetched accusations, let me conclude my humble critique by suggesting that all people who write articles which link smoking and raping together, as you have my dear halfwit, are the same as armed assailants who pose an immediate and defend-able threat of bodily harm to those, like myself, who offer rebuttal… because obviously you’re making unpredictable movements of injurious intent in my direction. Think I have a case for self defense on these grounds, buddy?