Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Smokers, this means you!

First, let me say that I am someone who does not smoke and who detests cigarettes. I grew up with a father who smoked heavily, and I actually believe that it is he who is to credit for the fact that neither I nor my three siblings have ever smoked cigarettes. We developed an aversion to and even a hatred for smoking as a result of being couped up in cars, rooms, and other small spaces with fumes of the nasty stuff. My dad would light up after each meal, and would always smoke in the car. In his defense, he was fourteen when he started smoking, and back in his day, I think doctors were still telling people that nicotene was no more harmful than bubble gum. It took my father fifty years to quit, but he did it. I think that the higher the number of years you have smoked, the greater is the accomplishment of quitting.

However, since the 1970's or so, doctors, along with the Surgeon General, have caught onto the fact that cigarettes, are in fact, bad for your health. This is why I cannot understand why anyone around my own age, give or take fifteen years, would have started smoking in the first place. It does not make sense. Aside from being terrible for your health, it is just plain disgusting! Yes, I have tried a few cigarettes, just to see what the allure is, and I could not figure it out. What is the appeal - bad breath, smelly hair and clothes, yellowed teeth?

Not to mention those of you who flick your cigarette butts out of car windows, leaving them to land all over the road. Where do you think they go? Don't you have an ashtray in your car?

And the smokers who stand outside of buildings and when finished, throw their cigarettes on the ground, stamp them out, and leave them there! The world is not your trash can.

With all of my disgust with regard to cigarette smoking, there is a new element of repulsion which has come to my attention in recent years. Smokers, you are polluting the environment! If you want to make your lungs black and poison yourself slowly, go for it. But your actions are impacting others, in fact, the whole world. [Interesting articles: How Smoking Affects Our Environment, AHA: Environmental Tobacco Smoke, Cigarette Butts Cause Environmental Pollution]

On a side note, here is a link to images of cigarette warning in European Union countries. They are somewhat more detailed and severe than those found in the U.S.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

During the short period that I was a smoker I tried to be a conscientious smoker. That is, I disposed of my butts and ashes in proper receptacles and didn't smoke around people who were bothered by it. That doesn't make me any better. I was still poisoining myself and, worse, polluting the environment. I'm glad I quit. I wish I'd never started.