Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Smoke, And I Vote

Murray Clapham, a director of the Victor Chang Foundation, writing in the Jakarta Post :

''The real argument is here in Indonesia some quite remarkable Indonesian scientists and doctors have discovered that cigarette smoking can, with specially treated cigarettes, significantly assist people's health and has the potential to cut health costs around the globe.'

''One thing we must do is learn from the ancient wisdom and find out how to grow healthy tobacco. Indonesia has made a start and it's a great place to do it. Unfortunately my country (Australia) has almost banned any private initiatives in this area.

''Tobacco is certainly not the key factor in many of the health issues attributed to it; the jury should remain out on that.

''These and other matters are still the subject of investigation. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water here in Indonesia now. To conclude, let's ban unhealthy cigarettes and promote healthy smoking.

''This will serve many purposes, the pro-smokers can have their cake and eat it without fear, the anti-smokers are likely to have a new cheap readily available healing tool.''

"Healthy smoking." There's two words I don't think I've seen paired together before. At least not in the past few decades anyway. And smoking as a "healing tool"?

Woody Allen's 1973 future-satire Sleeper foresaw this day :

"Here, smoke this. And be sure to get the smoke deep into your lungs."

"I don't smoke"

"It's tobacco. It's one of the healthiest things for your body."