When a child is born with a disability, we do everything we can to help them overcome it. If it's something they will live with forever, we do our best to provide them with a productive and meaningful life by giving them the tools and support they need to live up to their full potential. We make accommodations so they can be valued members of our communities. As science and technology progress, we will be able to do even more for people with disabilities.
If a person becomes addicted to drugs, we try to help them. We have treatment programs and support programs. If the person struggles to remain drug free, we have medical interventions that can help some people move past their addiction and return to a fully productive life with their families, friends, and as members of society. As science and technology progress, we will be able to do even more for people battling drug addiction.
As the automotive industry grew, cars were able to go farther and faster. Accidents caused injury and even death. We've enacted laws requiring our vehicles to have built in safety features. These help reduce fatalities and injuries. We've also enacted "rules of the road", things like speed limits to further reduce the dangers of being in a car. As science and technology progress, we will be able to add even more safety features into our vehicles and save more lives.
Such is the way of modern man. We identify a problem and we work towards solutions, and if a solution doesn't work for everyone, we look to science and technology to find even more and better solutions.
Or at least we do until we talk about people who smoke. It used to be we didn't think it was dangerous. Then we learned different. We did what man does best, we went on the hunt for solutions for smokers. We offered them ways to quit. We started therapies, support groups, we invented nicotine replacement therapies and medicines all to help smokers. For some smokers, these options helped them quit this deadly habit. Some smokers weren't able to quit.
This should be the part where we say as science and technology progress, we will find more and better ways to help people quit smoking. But we refuse to accept science and technology when it comes to people who smoke. Smokers found a technology that helps them quit. They invented a device and over the years they have improved the device. Why isn't society embracing this new technology that doesn't cost tax payers any money and improves the health of their loved ones, by helping them quit smoking?
When do we tell a cancer patient "get cured my way or die"? We don't and we wouldn't. Nor do we tell an alcoholic "get sober my way or die". We don't tell someone with a disability to deal with it locked in a closet with no adaptations to help them succeed. We will never go back to cars with no air bags or seat belts to reduce the potential harm of going from A to B.
Why does this country think it's OK to tell a person who smokes "quit my way or die"? Shouldn't we be cheering for every smoker to kick the habit in what ever way works best for them? Do we really care if they quit cold turkey, use a quit line, chew gum, take a pill, or use vapor technology to quit smoking?
People in white coats in labs invent amazing things, but it is not possible for them to find the cure for everything that ails mankind. Sometimes what's needed most is the people fighting the battle to figure out what works best for them and invent their own cure.
Many people who smoke have found their cure in a little battery operated device that is 95% safer than smoking. That little device can help millions of more people quit smoking, if we stop our current path and don't regulate the product out of existence.
It's time to focus on the smokers. Let them quit smoking in peace. My way or the highway shouldn't be the message we send them.