Secondhand smoke is the enemy

In Joseph Jaworski’s May 9 letter, “Limits of planning good health,” he admits making the assumption linking a decrease in smoking to an increase in obesity. He then says I made an “unsupported assumption” that the decrease in smoking was from smokers dying and fewer people taking up the habit.

However, I made my statements based on facts from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. From 2004 to 2011, the number of ex-smokers remained much the same, but the number of adults who have never smoked increased by 4 percent. I suppose my only assumption is that smokers eventually die. Based on these facts, fewer Australians are taking up smoking, resulting in the overall smoking rate dropping to 16 percent.

The main thrust behind banning smoking in most places is to reduce the harmful effects of secondhand smoke on nonsmokers. No matter how the pro-smoking lobby plays it, nobody should be subjected to toxic tobacco smoke against their will. Smoking is not illegal in Australia, but forcing nonsmokers to breathe toxic cigarette smoke is subject to strict regulation.

And the fewer smokers there are, the less people are subjected to secondhand smoke. This is the issue, and any other argument is just a smoke screen.

chris flynn

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.