The 2010 Olympics were advertised as being "sustainable". They aren't. They were also advertised as "smoke free", and this has turned out to be false, as well. A letter to the editor of The Province:

What a great suggestion by The Province - let's do away with designated smoking areas for 17 days, because some coaches and officials smoke.

Well why stop there? Is it really reasonable to expect these busy, important people, our guests, to always drive sober or to pull over to the side of the road to text message or make a phone call just because a few retentive, fun-crushing individuals have made that law to save a few insignificant lives? Let's review all our laws and suspend any that may prove inconvenient for coaches and officials for 17 days. It won't kill anyone if The Province says it won't.

Yes this is an event for which athletes have spent years adhering to careful fitness regimens to do the best they can in representing their country. Yes there are a few thousand people who have saved for years and gone to all kinds of trouble to attend and support these games or volunteer at them, people who maybe care about their health or perhaps have respiratory or cardiac disabilities. Blah blah blah. The Olympics aren't about any of them.

What is really important is the few who have chosen to become smokers must under no circumstances be in any way inconvenienced, because they are the only ones who matter. Far better that athletes compete for a chance at glory in a haze of secondhand smoke, asthmatics be hospitalized and risk long-term respiratory complications, and a few people with weak hearts die than that a handful of smokers be required to find a smoke-free way to get their nicotine hit.

Nice values, Province. Reminds me of the joke about how a smoker changes a light bulb - he holds the bulb in place and waits for the world to revolve around him. Don't you have anyone with a clearer grasp of the concept (and of the medical significance of breathing) to write your editorials?

If we can, without fear of causing an international incident, ban bringing dangerous objects like bananas and cheese sandwiches into venues on the grounds that they might explode, I think we may safely send smokers, with their lighters and matches, to designated outdoor areas well away from athletes, volunteers, and supporters - where they belong - without fear for our city's reputation.

Sera Kirk
Vancouver, BC

Story in The Province: Olympics no longer 'smoke-free'