In a press release issued in January 2009, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) called smokers "killers" and promoted increasing hostility toward them.
The press release was entitled "Public growing increasingly hostile to smokers; no more privileges and toleration for polluters and killers, many say."
Among the "hostility" that ASH cites towards smokers are the refusal to hire smokers, firing smokers (even if they only smoke off the job), refusing to allow smokers to serve as adoptive parents (even if they agree to smoke only outside the home), and refusing to perform certain surgeries on smokers.
ASH states that smokers "kill thousands of their own children every year." The press release also equates smoking around children with "child abuse."
The Rest of the Story
This is just another piece of evidence that the anti-smoking movement has gone off the deep end and has shifted its battle from tobacco products and tobacco smoke to the smoker herself.
It is disgusting to compare sudden infant death syndrome with people "killing their own children." It is difficult for me to imagine how one could be less sensitive to people who have suffered such a tremendous tragedy.
The same goes with the comparison of smoking around children to child abuse.
I don't understand what is wrong with the anti-smoking movement. Not every group is saying these things, but very few groups are speaking out against them. In this case, silence is tantamount to condoning these statements. It is the silence of the movement that allows the extremist elements of the movement to take control. And frankly, I don't find too many anti-smoking groups that take issue with ASH's agenda and stance in the first place, although few are as vocal as ASH in expressing their views.
As someone who became involved in tobacco control specifically because I wanted to help smokers -- many of patients were smokers trying to quit -- I simply cannot understand or relate to a movement whose goal is now to punish, discriminate against, deny rights to, and promote hostility against smokers.
The movement is becoming so fanatical that it is now promoting policies that will actually do more harm than good.
(Thanks to Bill Gibson for the tip).