Smoking Guns 

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I am glad that smokers have the freedom to make the choice to inflict harm on themselves, just as I am glad that people in Utah have the freedom to not wear a motorcycle helmet. These two legal activities are well-known to almost certainly lead to some form of health-harming conclusion.

Though not legal, I have the freedom to huff paint. But, if I should become brain dead as the result of choosing to huff paint, I don’t want my community to be required to divert resources to sustain me. It is my choice to engage in that risky behavior.

We all know what is likely at the end of these roads. Let us who chose to pursue these activities embrace the consequences without demanding that public monies be available to us when we reach these avoidable, not-so-happy destinations.

If someone should choose to help, out of the goodness of his or her charitable heart, that’s another thing. A nonsmoker with emphysema? Let’s get on it! A 20-year pack a-day smoker with the same disease? She made 146,000 choices (one pack times 365 days times 20 years) to reach that place.

I see no tragedy when a hunter is trampled by the elephant he is hunting.

J.K. Wolfe

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