When is taking a ban too far?

By Sandrea

For many years the Government and the Anti-smoking lobby have protest the smoking of cigarettes in public places and many countries including the UK have banned smoking in all public places and although we (the smokers) hated the ban we however respect it and now each time that you pass pubs or certain buildings there is a line of people outside smoking.

I am a smoker and I know that it is very difficult to stop, and considering the stress that I encounter every day I cannot see me stopping in the near future, that is not to say that I do not welcome people who have the strength and fortitude to stop this habit.

The reason that I am annoyed at the moment is the recent banned by the Philippine medical association having banned their Doctors from smoking and the reason the association president give is that “Physicians must be role models on matters of health, whose lives, decorum and personality are highly respected or emulated by all sectors of society – that is why it is highly inappropriate for physicians to be seen smoking,” he said.

I would agree with him that Doctors or anyone that are in the medical profession should be a role model however, this should be done by the individual and not by someone imposing this on them.  What has happen to right of the individual?  It seems to me that more and more of our rights have been systematically taken away by government and institutions.

There are a number of rights that has been taken away which we can agree make sense, for example we were force to wear seatbelts because it was alleged that seat belt save lives and therefore the great majority of country have mandatory seatbelt laws, how many lives have been saved, well according to ‘Answer.Com’ It is estimated that they save over 1000 lives a year, In the US. But, of course we don’t know all of the incidents, and this could change quickly. More people are wearing seat belts now than they used to. But now it has become a habit to wear them. So we don’t know if they were exactly “saved”.

Following the September 11 atrocities more rights have been taken away, try going through an airport security and it would be much easier to get into Fort Knox, than going through airport, suspected terrorist taken to Guantanamo Bay held in detention for long period of times and the list of our rights that has disappeared goes on.

Most people would agree that any legislation that is created to protect the individuals cannot be bad, and we allowed these rights to be diminished because it makes up feel safe.  However, I cannot agree with laws or rules that or stupid. The Philippine seems to forget that these individuals are human being first and foremost and doctors second.  They face the same stress even more so than the average person as they have the lives of other in their hands, and if smoking a cigarette helps them to steady their nerves they should not have that taken away from them.

Nobody is more aware of the effects of cigarette smoking to our bodies like doctors, or the problems that we can incur by excessive drinking, and that does not prevent the millions of pubs and wine bars that are constantly offering the public alcohol.

So, I disagree with the decision of the Philippine medical association, they, am sure has better things to do with their time.  I am sure there are other pressing medical issues that they should be spending their time focusing on rather than the smoking of doctor, especially when their own President admit that he is a smoker because it helps with the stress of his job.  Do they believe the job of a Doctor is any less stressful?

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