Poor Smokers, I Pity You!

Two words whose meaning is completely lost on some people.

Tsk. Tsk. This letter by a completely intolerant and self-serving frequent complainer named Sherley Servos actually made it to The Straits Times yesterday. I indulge in cigars and I smoke a pipe. I do so very occasionally. I am not a cigarette smoker and I am not a pro-smoking advocate but I wonder if the smoke-emitting transportation used by Mrs Servos should be banned too and since we’re going down that route, perhaps certain other legal products used by Mrs Servos should also be banned because it may affect other people. This is not the first time Mrs Servos has written asking for smoking to be banned. As somebody bright enough to write letters to the press, surely she know that if smoking and tobacco products are banned, she would have to pay more for everything else because the amount of tax collected on tobacco is staggering.

Poor smokers, the worst is yet to come. You pay money for a legal product, you are heavily taxed, and people like Sherley Servos and her ilk are asking for the government to prevent you from using the product even in your own homes. How about banning uncompromising, extremist, sanctimonious people too, by the way? Those who are obstinately devoted to their own opinions and prejudices and fight to deny the legal rights of others threaten the very fabric of this country. If Mrs Servos’ children are bothered by dogs, she’ll probably ask the government to have all dogs in Singapore rounded up and slaughtered. If church bells on Sunday disturb Mrs Servos’ sleep, she’ll want to launch a crusade to burn churches. If incense smoke from temples bother Mrs Servos, I’m sure she’ll ask the authorities to shut down temples. If Singaporeans had been like that all along, and not being able to work things out in a civil manner, we would not be enjoying the racial harmony we enjoy today and people from different religions and cultures would not have been able to build this society we live in today, a society safe enough for people like Mrs Servos to write the type of letters she writes to the press.

Read her letter, and flinch:

While I certainly welcome the plan to extend the smoking ban to include void decks and corridors, my worry is that smokers will now decide to smoke inside their homes instead (‘Smokers may soon get fewer places to light up’; last Saturday).

Unless we ban all indoor smoking, the proposed ban might present more problems to those of us unfortunate enough to live directly next to or above households with smokers.

I myself have had repeated altercations with my neighbour below, since he cites the current law, which allows him to smoke in his own home and, in so doing, pollute my family’s clean air.

I am the mother of two young children, so this is an issue that greatly bothers me.

My neighbour occasionally makes a compromise by smoking in the void deck, as and when it suits him. I fear that the proposed ban will mean that he will go right back to smoking inside his home all the time, and especially in rainy weather.

I appeal to the authorities to consider widening the ban to include residences as well.

We non-smokers – comprising 86 per cent of Singaporeans, according to the article – cannot be expected to suffer in silence for our entire lives.

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