Saturday, December 1, 2012

Smokers banned at beaches + discrimination and segregation

In the early 20th century in the USA bus and train companies enforced seating policies with separate sections for blacks and whites, basically, African Americans were considered inferior, second class citizens to whites and as such were subjected to discrimination and segregation - they were required to sit at the back of the bus and were enforced by law to relinquish their seats to white travelers.

I know that it's not the same, but it certainly feels the same to a smoker when they see the latest assault by the Health Department of Victoria, which is a poster about segregation of smokers on Victorian beaches. 
Their rationale for this policy is:

This ban will protect beach users from exposure to second-hand smoke, stop children seeing people smoke (which may influence their decision to smoke as adults) and reduce environmental damage from butt littering.

I'm at a loss why we smokers can no longer smoke in the open air and I find it untenable that the minute amount of smoke emitted into the air at a beach location could affect anyone in the vicinity. Most people (especially smokers) stay well away from other people at the beach. My suggestion is that if the government is concerned about behavior on the beach then they should look to those who eat and leave their rubbish, allow their dogs to jump up on people and crap in the sand, those who discard their used syringes. I've been to a number of beach locations over the past few weeks - Sandringham, Middle Brighton, St. Kilda and South Melbourne beach and have yet to see one cigarette butt in the sand (most probably because smokers have accustomed themselves to placing their butts in containers/rubbish bins provided. I have however seen soft drink and alcoholic drink cans, loads of plastic, paper, string, paper nappies, dummies, plastic spoons, chip packets and other unidentifiable rubbish on the beach.

Obviously, unlike the words used in this poster - Beaches ARE NOT for everyone! Beaches are now SEGREGATED environments and just one more attempt to DISCRIMINATE against smokers.

Discrimination is the prejudicial or distinguishing treatment of an individual based on his or her membership - or perceived membership - in a certain group or category. It involves the group's initial reaction or interaction, influencing the individual's actual behavior towards the group or the group leader, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on logical or irrational decision making. (


  1. As a responsible citizen you should not smoke where people are around specially children, in such situation smoking not only harm you but also others who inhale the smoke, consider using electronic cigarettes than you don't have to worry about these bans.

  2. Usually people are not sitting next to each other on beaches, i don't think that smoking should be banned in such places, open air areas are safe for smoking.

  3. Such kind of bans are really annoying for smokers, my advise to them is they should start using electronic cigarette which is allowed everywhere and you can smoke them freely.