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Smokers are people too

by The Concordian March 15, 2011
Smokers are people too

People who smoke enjoy it and should be left alone. Photo by Fabiana Zonca/Flickr.

BRANTFORD, Ont. (CUP) — I have had an epiphany: smoking is not positive for one’s health.

This revelation may have occurred as a result of my 14 years of public education, my parents’ warnings and disapproval, the many discriminatory anti-smoking advertisements or even the graphic warnings on and inside the cigarette packaging.

I can, without a doubt, tell you that it did not occur through non-smokers telling me about their grand revelation. People tell smokers this known fact to enlighten them, to “save” them or to point out their imperfections.

But stating the obvious doesn’t enlighten people, nor does it grant one genius status; it makes you a fool, similar to “enlightening” someone about their skin colour.

Trying to save people by trying to make them quit isn’t saving them, either. About one in four Canadians are estimated to die from cancer, but I can tell you that the one in four Canadians aren’t all smokers. Nine in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke. These factors include smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Newsflash: 100 per cent of Canadians will die.

There is no saving us because today, everything kills us — lead, plastics, sugar, falling coconuts (look out!). People will live the lives they wish to live. Pointing out another person’s smoking problem is only a defence mechanism to shelter your own self-conscious mindset.

Public smoking no longer affects non-smokers because smoking can’t occur within public buildings. Walking by a smoker outside will not give you cancer, but the cellphone held to your ear, the car fumes you breathe, the sun in the sky and even the chemical-laced food you eat just might.

I smoke because I enjoy it. Mixing it with the mental and biological addiction that makes it a problem, it becomes a problem I enjoy. Obesity is a problem, too, but if someone is happily obese, is it right to remind them constantly about the life-threatening problem? If you say yes, put yourself in their shoes.

Smoking does not affect people’s mental abilities. Someone can smoke without impairing their driving; they can work and talk and perform any task.

Imagine that you are drinking at a party and someone tells you the dangers of drinking and tries to get you to stop drinking. And this happens every time you drink. “That’s going to rot your liver, you know!” they chide you.

This would annoy you and probably ruin drinking for you.

I can tell you that it annoys me and ruins smoking for me, but I will continue because three years of being lectured and warned has not stopped me. I smoke, I feel, I eat, I sleep, I breathe, I cry, I smile, I walk past you, I sit beside you in class. I am not just a smoker, but a human being just like you.


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1 comment

rogerduck March 17, 2011 - 15:24

I get it. Nagging doesn’t work on you so why do we bother wasting our efforts on you? Pretty simple really. Because we know how you will most likely die — and it’s nasty.

Spend some time at the local hospice and you’ll learn three things.

1. Lung cancer is one of the worse cancers you can get and dying of lung cancer is a slow and agnoizing death.

2. Your cancer will touch everyone around you, your family will agonize with you and it will drain their joy and passion for life.

3. People dying of lung cancer were defiant and full of excuses at one time just like you are now. Not surprisingly, they don’t defend their choice so aggressively when they gurgle with every breath.

Josh, their is no epiphany for you. Your youth powered piss and vinegar attitude will wain but slowly over time. Eventually the ignorance of your youth will be replaced with the harsh realities of your adult life. I wish the best for you but I can read your tea leaves.

Yes Josh, smokers are people too. People who will beat their parents to the grave and leave a wake of sadness and disappointment.


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