My Anti- Anti-Smoking Rant

I’m going to step on my soapbox again today.  I’ve got to take the piles of paper off it, and dust it off a little, but I’ve got something in my craw that I need to get out.  I’ll give you fair warning, this post might anger some of you, while others might thank me for my comments, but I feel these things need to be said.

I’m not a smoker, nor do I condone smoking.  Personally, I think cigarette smoke smells bad, though I do like the smell of cigars and pipes.  When I snuck a couple of puffs off a cigarette as a kid, I nearly hacked up my lunch and couldn’t understand why anyone would want that vile-tasting stuff to touch their tastebuds.  However, it bothers me that people who smoke are essentially being bullied by the anti-smokers of this country.

I saw photos recently that the FDA has decided need to be pasted across half of each pack of cigarettes.  Apparently, the FDA thinks this will deter people from smoking.  NOT!  I’ve seen people with lung cancer, emphysema and on oxygen smoke a ciggie through the hole in their throat.  A gross picture won’t make a dent in someone with that sort of dedication.  Neither will some commercials that try to convince smokers to blow bubbles instead.  Besides, if everyone who smoked blew bubbles instead, the world would be covered in a thin layer of soapy slime.  Eeeuugh!

What bothers me most about all this anti-smoking propaganda is that it’s very misleading to people not in the know about these sorts of things.  Especially when it comes to the big cancer scare that dominates much of these messages.

Everyone’s body produces pre-cancerous cells, each and every day.  Our immune system normally destroys them before they congeal together to form into something more dangerous, but we’ll produce more again later.  That’s a fact of life.  And, while the collective “they” want you to believe that smoking causes cancer, the truth is that scientists don’t really know what causes pre-canceorus cells to turn into full-blown cancer.  They have many theories, and have identified many possible causes, but smoking is merely one of the options they think has a hand in it.  Other “culprits” are genetic makeup, the immune system, even age.  Scientists are also discovering new possible factors every day.  Personally, I think the biggest factor is the emotional one, and some cancer centers have had much success by healing the whole person, not just “killing” the cancer.

It seems unfair to me that, over the years, some basic human rights have been taken away from smokers under the pretense of saving lives.  First, people weren’t allowed to smoke in offices or on planes.  Then came restaurants.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that I don’t have to breathe in cigarette smoke while flying to Chicago, but now people aren’t allowed to smoke in their own cars in California, if they have children in the car with them.  I’ve even heard about people who want to make it illegal for someone to smoke in their own home.  Not only does that leave people with practically nowhere to smoke, but it’s also a violation of the 4th Amendment.

Why do the anti-smokers seem to ignore the fact that there are millions of people who don’t die or get cancer from smoking-related issues?  George Burns smoked until the day he died, at the ripe old age of 100, and it wasn’t lung cancer that killed him.  What about the people who get cancer that have never smoked a day in their life, or even lived with smokers?

What bothers me most about this bullying campaign (and I can’t see how it can be described as anything but), is that other legal addictions aren’t being treated as badly.  Why don’t they start some “truth in advertising” for alcohol?  Or, how about pasting the bad side effects of coffee on the little cup sleeves?  If the collective “they” are successful in getting rid of smoking in this country, will they target alcohol or coffee next?  What if they find statistics that show more accidents happen involving Toyota cars?  Will all Toyota owners be ostracized in this fashion?

Again, I’m not saying that smoking is good.  But the barrage of commercials, written material, and now these ridiculous FDA photos won’t stop someone who’s truly addicted.  All it does is single smokers out, and make them out to be criminals, when they’re merely human beings with a stinky habit.

Thank you for reading.  I’ll stow my soap box again now.


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