I'm a smoker. I've narrated this fact into posts before, but I generally try to avoid discussing personal issues in this particular (news-based) forum. The fact is, though, that smoking itself is a political issue (Politics is defined as "the total complex of relations between people living in society" by Webster's dictionary, and smoking very much affects people's relations in society) so I think I can sneak it in.

I'm quitting smoking. It has started, now, already. I've gone a few days without having to light up more than once a day, so I think I'm making progress. I need to quit smoking. Full stop. There are the usual reasons: the lung cancer thing, other dangers to my health, that unique "smoker smell" that permeates my clothes and my being, the fact that it's an unnecessary waste of money, etc. To be honest though, these aren't the issues that have finally pushed me to the point of wanting to become a non-smoker.

The Truth is that we smokers know how dangerous smoking is, we just don't care. It's a highly addictive drug, and one that also CALMS US DOWN immensely. My blood pressure jumps when my nicotine level drops. Just one day without cigarettes and I'm almost overcome by this irrational rage towards anything and everyone around me. It's a drug, I'm an addict, and quitting isn't easy. It must be done however.

Most smokers are well aware that cigarettes/tobacco kill more people each year than cocaine, crack, and heroin combined. What many fail to recognise, however, are the other inherent dangers of smoking. Not only is every cigarette we smoke doing us damage, but also every pack we buy damages the environment, increases a world perpensity towards dismissal of basic human rights, removes personal freedoms, and increases growing threats to not only world peace but also the very survival of our species. What I'm referring to here is the fact that American "Conservative" (a misnomer, but commonly used; I would prefer the term "Fascist") politicians have been in bed (so to speak, any sexual congress is purely speculation) with the tobacco industry ever since there was a tobacco industry. Just to give one example, Altria (formerly Philip Morris) which owns the Philip Morris brand (which produces the brands I most often buy, Marlboro and L&M) has donated nearly 7 million dollars to the republican campaigns in the U.S. for the 2000-2004 elections. The tobacco industry in general has donated countless millions to the campaigns of many prominent republican representatives, which at one point even included the terrifyingly dangerous Jesse Helms.

In the words of the late great Bill Hicks:

"The Surgeon General's warning [on cigarette packs] ought to read:
'Smoking has been determined to cause cancer, heart disease, and Rednecks with seniority.' "

And, we need not even mention to current regime and their constant attacks on all things that sustain life on this planet (peace, the environment, etc.). So every time I buy these (delicious relaxing) carcinogen sticks I'm throwing another dollar into the "lets destroy life on earth!" fund, and I won't do it anymore!

Fight The Power! Quit Smoking!

1 comment:

Rea said...

Your words are powerful and true! You're right about how seductive the addiction to tobacco can be - and it's more than once been seen to be perpetuated by our 'powers that be'.

On a side-note/plug, I'd like to ask you to think about writing a letter to tobacco, as in the plant/weed... I have been writing letters myself these last few months, trying to come to terms with it's power over all of us. If you're up to it please let me know in a comment - I'd be proud to feature it when you're ready.