The Great American Smokeout is Today…


…celebrate by noting

a) the voluntary nature of the event (and the immediate health benefits of not smoking):

Every year, the American Cancer Society dedicates the third Thursday of November to those ready to give up cigarettes for just a day in their lives in the hope that this might help them stop permanently. The organization wants smokers to ask themselves what it would take them to quit, and to try it out for a day to see how kicking the habit feels like.

Medically, there are great benefits a smoker would have even from the very first day of quitting. More exactly, doctors believe that a smoker's blood pressure and pulse rate drop to normal within 20 minutes of his last cigarette. Breathing becomes easier within 3 days. Circulation improves, walking becomes easier, and lung function increases up to 30 percent within 2-3 months. Also, risk of coronary disease will be cut in half within a year.

b) the ham-fisted, involuntary nature of outright and total smoking bans that have proliferated over this sweet land of liberty over the past decade. I'm no fan of smoking, but I'm less of a fan of smoking bans that run roughshod over individual choice, property rights, and much more.

c) Watching this new (released just last week) reason.tv extravaganza, Just Can't Quit: How far will smoking bans go? (go here for embed code, related articles, and a great 2002 documentary produced by reason's Paul Feine and Jesse Walker called Talking Butts).