The latest plea from Finian McGrath left me a bit speechless. It makes me wonder, “If I were the Junior Minister for Health, what would I never do?”
Finian McGrath, in case you did not know, is a recently appointed Minister of State for Disability Issues in Ireland. He has held this position for about thirteen days. Recently, he commented that despite the fact that Ireland adopted a policy that there would be no smoking in workplaces over a decade ago, that he believes Ireland should now reverse this. My first thoughts are,”Now? After all of this progress, this is your stance? You think that we should feel more compassion for those people with smoking addictions by allowing them more leniency?”
Befuddled is how I’m feeling. The thing is, I do have compassion for alot of people. I care about others, their well-being and that people don’t get hurt. That is compassion. And ultimately, that lends itself to people who have addictions. That really stinks. I have no idea how that kind of life would be, but I imagine that it would be hard. The closest I can get to that is talking myself out of eating a second piece of cake, but I digress. This is where my compassion ends.
I also have a specific allergy to cigarette smoke. It’s a funny thing and not in a funny-ha-ha-way either. If I get close to secondhand smoke, it inflames my sinuses quite literally. This sets off a chain of events that goes something like: throbbing pain over nose, loss of sense of smell, migraines and eyelids swelling. How’s that for fun?
I was particularly relieved when I learned that more and more public places were banning smoking. I know that I especially benefit from that. Yet, this man wants me to put the needs of cigarette smokers above my need for well-being and health? I have to ask, “Exactly what kind of health minister are you?”
It does not help the general public to allow a certain cancer to spread while using the stance that we need to be more understanding. Sir, I’m understanding whenever I’m around cigarette smoke. I have to get up and move away from it, roll my windows up when I’m near it and even hold my breath when forced to be in it. Where is the leniency that you have for people like myself and dare I ask, little kids? Please think about that and make a better policy suggestion for your next thirteen days, as I’m also understanding that we all make mistakes.