There are plenty of people in this world who are involved in smoking, drinking or gambling or maybe all of them together. What chance does the government have of stopping activities which in spite of their harmful effects are being followed by an overwhelming majority of people at some point or the other in their lives? According to me the answer to that is none whatsoever.
In my opinion I resent the intrusion of government into what I feel is my personal matter. The government as well as the society has no role to play in deciding whether I light up a Marlboro, drink scotch on a daily basis or if I bet on cricket.
I do not understand why the government insists on placing statutory health warnings on cigarette packs. I, being an ex smoker know that no one pays it a second glance. The point I want to make here is that my doctors asked me to quit, so did my wife and friends. I did not need the government also to nag me on the same subject. I gave up smoking when I felt I should quit and not before. I have a right to live my life as I desire. Perhaps my family and friends will be affected by my decision, but other than them no one else will be. Therefore, government and society questioning my actions is unacceptable.
The state keeps insisting that they are doing things in the interest of the people. By what right? If they insist on forbidding the production, distribution and sale of cigarettes or alcohol or banning gambling they will be making a big mistake. This is because people, who want to smoke, drink or gamble will find means and ways to do what they wish to do even if that means utilizing illegal, underground sources.
India’s efforts to ban gambling has resulted in gamblers being present in every street of India placing or accepting bets on cricket matches and many other things. I can even quote examples from history wherein America experimented with prohibition in the 30s. This resulted in the rise of gangsters like Al Capone who kept US citizens well supplied with their daily drinks. America’s efforts to control the supply of drugs are also failing as the underworld keeps students in every American campus well supplied with drugs.
So my advice to the governments, society and do gooders is, “Leave me alone, for it ain’t anybody’s business if I smoke, drink or gamble.”