Monday, August 5th , 2013,
(NEW YORK, EARTH) —Sorry all ye future tobacco smoking astronauts, space pionners and colonizers and of the planet Mars —looks like you will have to watch your “butts,” even on the Red Planet.
What many deemed inevitable within the annals of human space exploration finally came to pass Monday, after a contentious three–minute debate among the members of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in Vienna.
According to UNOOSA’s director, Dr. Mazlan Binti Othman, smoking will not be allowed on the fourth planet from the sun when a colony is established on it in the estimated year of 2532, approximately 520 years in the future.
In a year that has seen civil wars, popular uprisings, terrorist threats, the ousting of quasi—dictators and a new hope for freedom to millions in the Middle East, the issue of interplanetary travel and tobacco proved central to the United Nation's order of business this week.
“Whether it’s tomorrow or 600 years from now, we know at least a few human beings will probably be living on Mars at some point,” said Othman at UNOOSA's office in Vienna Wednesday. “And we want people to know that if and when that day comes, that those living on that planet will be able to enjoy a healthy smoke-free environment. This is most important.”
Said renowned astrophysicist Leopold
Added de Rabaudy, “Regardless if no one alive today will be around to experience it, future generations will thank us for making sure Mars is a healthy humanoid colony.”
De Rabaudy said it was most crucial that Monday’s ban was passed in response to long rising anti-smoking sentiment around the world. Compounded with a recent report of the alarming rate of underage smokers in Indonesia, Monday’s ruling could not have been timelier, added de Rabaudy.
Dr. Rupert Hackman of the London Institute of Unremitting Invasiveness hailed the UNOOSA’s ban on smoking on Mars, saying it will have echoing effects for current residents of Earth. “Smoking is one of the greatest evils of our time,” said Hackman to Duh Progressive Tuesday. “To send the message that it will not be allowed on a planet 60 million kilometers away five to six hundred years from now will undoubtedly stem the demonic habit on Earth today.”
Surprisingly, though, some anti-tobacco proponents are lamenting Monday’s vote, calling the measure “too little, too late.”
“Big tobacco has had too long and made too many inroads among the youth of Earth. So we believe Monday’s 'Mars ban' is a moot point,” said Richard Lemmick, director of the Foundation for a Smokefree America. “If only this ban could have been passed three or four hundred years ago, then we could have cause to celebrate….But at this point it’s simply not a strong enough a message to the children.”
Imposing a smoking ban on a planet not expected to host any human activity within half a millennium, if at all, may seem like a moot point to Lemmick and others, but to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mondays’s vote was spot-on. Said the mayor and lifelong personal freedom opponent, “If we can’t at least make sure no one is allowed to smoke 500 years from now and millions of miles away, then how can we ensure no one ever smokes on Earth again?”
Continued the mayor, “With all that our country is facing now –high unemployment, cataclysmic debt, gang wars, natural disasters, endless scandals– it is essential that smoking be banned on a planet over 50 million miles away and unreachable within the next half-millennium…If not, what can we say for ourselves now? It’d be a shame.”
As always, though, there is genuine animosity towards this newest of smoking bans among the natives. “I guess they couldn’t ban smoking everywhere on this planet fast enough,” said Jasper Calhoun, an auto mechanic in Biloxi, Mississippi. Calhoun, a 48-year-old father of three and a smoker of 31 years, said he had always hoped for a day his descendants could smoke on another planet (i.e. far away from the descendents of Michael Bloomberg).
“I remember seeing the astronauts land on the moon in ’69,” said Calhoun, who is after all a blue collar worker in a southern state and so whose opinions should not be considered in the least. “I saw them land when I was a kid and I was like, ‘God, I wonder what it’d be like to light up a nice Marlboro up there.’ Then I heard thsi news about a smoking ba on Mars, and I was like, 'Ahh, shit!' Knowing not even my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandkids will be able to smoke on Mars, I don’t even know what to say. What’s next, not being able to smoke in my own home on Earth?”
UPDATE: Biloxi resident and completely immaterial proletariat, Jasper Calhoun, will be formally arraigned Friday in Harrison County District Court, MS, on charges of child abuse and attempted murder for smoking in his own home.