Letter: Smoker’s Retort

Editor, the Gauntlet

[Re: “U of C helps students butt out,” Christina Lam, Jan. 18, 2007]

That’s great, smoking is bad, WE GET THE MESSAGE. I am not sure if there is one student attending the University of Calgary who actually believes that inhaling smoke at a temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit is good for you. Yet we are constantly force-fed health conscious rhetoric–particularly in the student press–telling us what is best for us and society. How come stories like “U of C helps students butt out” never seem to talk to smokers? It would be interesting to see a conflict of ideas in a news story. Instead, we are reading one-way, top-down propaganda spewed from leaders of anti-smoking organizations who, in all likelihood, don’t even know what a cigarette smells like.

I know “I am the target.” I am the target of many marketing campaigns, which I critically consume, and choose what best suits my lifestyle. I don’t need some state or student-funded pseudo-organization telling me I shouldn’t buy an iPod, cross the street, have a beer or smoke a cigarette. At least balance out the message and let us choose for ourselves.

Todd Andre

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