Richard Moore: So you're a smoker are you?

By Richard Moore

1 comment


So you're a smoker are you? Well, that's not so good. You smell ickky, courtesy of the crap you ingest, your breath pongs, and you spend far too much money on your disgusting habit.

Not only that, if you smoke long enough your skin will turn grey and you'll begin to have an annoying cough that will change over the years into a phlegm-producing hack that will turn people's stomachs.

Keep going and your love of ciggies will lead to all sorts of health problems. Your breathing will suffer, your lungs will be stuffed and, eventually, you are going to die a pretty horrible, senseless sort of death.

Now smokers don't get too much sympathy around the world anymore, but I have just heard that if you are a smoker you cannot be discriminated against. I don't mean you are immune to discrimination - just that New Zealand health boards reckon they can refuse to employ you just because you smoke.

Auckland and Waikato health boards are asking would-be employees if they smoke and the Bay of Plenty mob are considering doing the same.

They say it is legal, but how can that be?

It is illegal to discriminate against someone on race, age, religion, or sexuality so how can they do so just because someone wants to kill themselves slowly?

Apparently the almost all-encompassing Human Rights Act doesn't cover smokers.

Too bad if you are an old-age, black, gay Buddhist - who just so happens to puff fags.

I have to say the health boards involved are an absolute disgrace.

I don't like it when people smoke next to me but the way I look at it is that they pay for their habit - and their own medical care through the taxation on ciggies - so live and let die. The fact that some we-think-we're-God employers deem normal people with a legal addiction unemployable is an outrage and everyone of us should be up in arms about it.

What's next?

Will they black ban people who eat red meat? Or munch on peanuts? Or like sushi? Or drink whisky in their own homes?

I think it is time we stood together with our smoking brethren and say to those who would not allow them to earn a living - discrimination is discrimination and we will not accept it.

So health boards put that in your pipes and smoke it.

****

It seems I may have missed the second coming.

I was away at a funeral and, during that time, someone who thinks he can walk on water was creating all sorts of havoc in Northland.

Yup, Jeremy Clarkson and his Top Gear mob.

Not being a petrolhead, I have been amused by the show several times over the years, but if I don't see another episode I'll not consider my life ruined.

One worrying development was the spat between the Far North District Council and local iwi over the local authority giving permission for the Top Gear driving to be done on the long sands of 90 Mile Beach.

Iwi got miffed they were not "consulted", although one has to ask why we need to get the thumbs up to go on to a public beach anyway.

A local councillor said he found it interesting that "consulting" seemed more like getting permission from iwi.

A good point and one we should all be keeping an eye on.


****

Like most people I don't visit the dentist as often as I should.

I

don't know why - my dentist is pleasant with a winning smile - and I'm not worried about the pain, only maybe the cost.

It ain't cheap and when an inexpensive sticky lolly can suck a $200 filling out of a tooth you become careful about the chewy things you sample.

But, at my age, I have all of my teeth and brush them morning, noon and night to keep them in my head.

Which is a good thing as the last thing I'd want is to be stuck in a rest home and have some bugger switch dentures with me as happened to a poor Tauranga woman the other week.

After all my gargling and brushing, I'd be horrified to have someone else's dirty old chompers deposited in my mouth.

Crikey, I'd rather be toothless and have to eat porridge the rest of my days.

richard@richardmoore.com

- Bay of Plenty Times

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