The legal battle shaping up will pit the Tobacco Companies, Tobacco Lobbyist and cigarette smokers against Anti Smoking Activist and promises to leave no one on the side lines. At stake could be hundreds of billions of dollars and possibly the right to smoke in The United States.
The Anti Smoking Faction, ASF, has made impressive headway over the pass decade in their efforts to restrict smoking rights. Victories include, smoke free work place, banning smoking in most restaurants, bars and other public places and recovering health care cost by increasing taxes on cigarettes.
The ASF is now set to force restriction of ALL outside smoking. Over the past decade the ASF has slowly gathered support using studies that unequivocally demonstrate that even casual exposure to cigarette smoke, such as walking by a person smoking outside, can pose tremendous health risk. The ASF has collected 150 million signatures in support of banning outside smoking. The ASF stated that the average American is sick and tired of dealing with clouds of cigarette smoke. The ASF is set to deliver the signatures to Congressional leaders next week as they began hearings on the issue.
The Tobacco Interest has promised to fight for America’s right to smoke and they want America’s 60 million smokers to help by organizing demonstrations, calling or writing their congressional leaders and if needed to participate in civil disobedience of laws that might be enacted. The common theme arising from the cigarette smokers seems to be “hey were Americans too and we gave rights.” Congressional spokespersons have stated that phones are ringing off the hook.
Caught in the middle is The President, members of Congress and leaders form key states who must ultimately decide what direction America will go. Congressional leaders are hinting at compromises that will be a “win ‘” win” for all sides. In a bipartisan effort Congress is exploring what is being termed as smoking helmets. This bipartisan effort is quickly gaining support from The White House and members of Congress.
The compromise would work like this. Smoking would be allowed everywhere as long as the smoker is wearing an approved smoking helmet. Fine points of the new law still must be hammered out and prototype smoking helmets need to be tested and approved for use.
Reactions from interested parties have been mixed. The Tobacco Industry and the ASF in a rare show of agreement hailed the compromise as truly American and a law they could support. Congressional leaders were almost giddy over the prospect of finding a solution while cigarette smokers were heard remarking that they have rights too. One well dressed female smoker was overheard remarking “what about my hair.”