Can logic be carried too far?
Earlier, when I researched the question of landlord legal liability for tenants’ secondhand cigarette smoke, I found an amazing web site, which goes much further than merely saying landlords are liable. According to the site, landlords and all others who allow cigarette smoking are murderers — even part of a “Tobacco Holocaust.”
Now, the guy who writes this site may be a nut (for starters he’s trivializing the Holocaust), but I believe in giving the devil his due. And there’s a certain perverse logic here which I find disturbing (at least if his numbers and research are correct).
While I haven’t checked the accuracy of these numbers, the site makes the claim that legally speaking, smoke is a poison — and full of heavily regulated toxins:

Cigarettes contain and emit large quantities of toxic chemical emissions including carbon monoxide. They are inherently dangerous. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress: a Report of the Surgeon General, Publication CDC 89-8411, Table 7, pp 86-87 (1989), lists examples of deleterious ingredients including but not limited to:

acetaldehyde (1.4+ mg)arsenic (500+ ng)benzo(a)pyrene (.1+ ng)
cadmium (1,300+ ng)crotonaldehyde (.2+ ?g)chromium (1,000+ ng)
ethylcarbamate 310+ ng)formaldehyde (1.6+ ?g)hydrazine (14+ ng)
lead (8+ ?g)nickel (2,000+ ng)radioactive polonium (.2+ Pci)

Due to cigarettes’ inherently deleterious nature and ingredients, they, when lit, emit deleterious emissions. The term is toxic tobacco smoke (TTS) or, erroneously, ETS. The Department of Health, Education and Welfare (DHEW), Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, PHS Pub 1103, Table 4, p 60 (1964), lists examples of cigarettes’ deleterious emissions compared to the chemicals’ “speed limits” (official term, “threshold limit values” [TLV’s] set in the toxic chemical regulation 29 CFR ? 1910.1000, available at your local library). It is due to cigarettes excess quantities that deaths result. Notice the emissions vs the “speed limits” [TLV’s]:










TTS Chemical
TTS Quantity
TLV
acetaldehyde 3,200 ppm 200.0 ppm
acrolein 150 ppm 0.5 ppm
ammonia 300 ppm 150.0 ppm
carbon monoxide 42,000 ppm 100.0 ppm
formaldehyde 30 ppm 5.0 ppm
hydrogen cyanide 1,600 ppm 10.0 ppm
hydrogen sulfide 40 ppm 20.0 ppm
methyl chloride 1,200 ppm 100.0 ppm
nitrogen dioxide 250 ppm 5.0 ppm

Obviously, cigarettes’ toxic chemicals far exceed the “Threshold Limit Values.” Wherefore TTS-caused injuries and deaths are common, foreseeable, “natural and probable consequences.” TTS exposure causes Increased Risk of Death. There is a common law right to “fresh and pure air,” a duty to not endanger people, and, when one does cause harm, to aid the victim. “Fresh and Pure Air” is already the law.

Having documented that poisonous regulated toxins are being emitted, the site then points out that it is illegal to poison people:

Laws already ban poisoning one’s neighbors, in fact, anyone, neighbor or not. Casualties and deaths at apartments/condominiums due to smoking, are part of the overall tobacco holocaust. Such effects arise as toxic tobacco smoke (TTS) from neighbors seeps into apartments, condominiums, and causing disease, fires, deaths, not to mention the preceding annoyances, nuisance, and irritations.

Which means that you’re in danger of being killed:

You are in danger. Toxic tobacco smoke (TTS) kills more people than motor vehicle accidents, all crimes, AIDS, illegal drugs, etc. In other words, you are statistically more likely to be killed by your neighbor’s tobacco smoke than by his car, his gun, or his AIDS virus. Your landlord or management are aiding and abetting, accessory to this illegal killing, of which (as the body count is at the “holocaust” level) you may well be a future casualty.

In short, this is a Holocaust, every bit as much as that perpetrated by Nazis put on trial at Nuremburg:

Be aware that the sole reason why the issue of a nonsmoker being adversely impacted by tobacco smoke, presenting individualized evidence of harm?why that issue even comes up, is malice, corruption and similar unethical, immoral, and illegal reasons. The government enforces the law with respect to spewing toxic chemicals in all other aspects of life, including on these same exact chemicals (carbon monoxide, cyanide, etc.). Repeat, that government officials do not do so on this subject is due to personal corruption on a mass basis constituting the proximate cause of the ongoing tobacco holocaust at a level of casualties far exceeding that prosecuted in The Nurnberg Trial, 6 FRD 69 (1946).

In case you’re not yet laughing, the site author claims that future prosecutions — and executions — for murder are possible.

They are knowingly aiding and abetting and accessory to potentially your death, for which they, like the Nazis at Nurnberg, may be executed in the future. The people they mass-exterminated had no legal obligation whatsoever to offer any suggestions to the would-be killers as to how to avoid doing the killings. You have the same human right. You can remain silent, all the legal responsibilities are on the perpetrator.

The problem with laughing it off is that let us suppose that logically, he is right that tobacco is an environmental toxin, like mercury or cyanide. If it is, and if (as he claims) the law recognizes it that way, then in logic why aren’t cigarette smokers treated the same way someone would be treated who leached cyanide gas, mercury vapor, or gasoline fumes (all in quantities not large enough to be immediately fatal) into the halls of an apartment building? Because of numbers? Or a de facto (not legal) exception for cigarette smoking? That’s small consolation.
I find this troubling, just as I found it troubling to discover that roof runoff is considered a toxic (because of the material leached from the composition of the shingles), but that the laws simply aren’t enforced. Yet.
When laws exist but they aren’t enforced only because “everyone does it,” what are the longterm implications to freedom?
I’m not saying that cigarette smokers or landlords should be prosecuted, mind you. Precisely the opposite. Many of the laws make it a crime simply to move one substance that originated in the ground to another location somewhere in the ground. Where do oil, tobacco, and lead come from? What are the “toxics” in storm water runoff other than things which came from the ground and are returning to the ground in small quantities?
That these laws and regulations exist but are not being enforced means that most of us are committing felons. Considering that government regulations invariably become stricter over time (lest the bureaucrats lose their jobs for not rewriting them), I’d say smoking is just the tip of the iceberg. The existing laws many of us don’t know about will be enforced. Things we take completely for granted will become criminal acts.
I don’t see much difference between the two major parties on these issues. The current Surgeon General is as much of an anti-tobacco activist as it’s possible to be, and I doubt the Democrats’ choice would be any better.
Well, I guess we could go back to fighting over condoms on bananas.
(That’s always the best thing to do when freedom is at stake.)