Wednesday, February 2, 2011


The certain inheritance that we bequeath to generation after generation. Why? Why do we perpetuate this deed of self-inflicted violence and insidious serial killing?  It's very American.  It makes us all equal.  The homeless, the President and the Speaker of the United States, illegal immigrants and their employers, cops, rapists and murderers, good actors and bad actors, teachers and drop outs, whole and dysfunctional families, Birthers, Democrats and Republicans, Tea Partiers, liberals and conservatives, cowboys and bankers, doctors, lawyers, pro atheletes and couch potatoes, boys, girls, women, men, transgenders, gay and straight, bisexuals while being transgendered, young and elderly, even TODDLERS!!! 


They might be all smoking the same brand at the same time RIGHT NOW!

Now that's Democracy in action!!!!

But I really can't take it anymore.  It's hard to watch people hurting themselves.  My heart especially breaks when I see a teenager or twenty something smoking.  They know just like we knew in our generation that there's no good reason to smoke.  But it’s part of the aforementioned inheritance.  A rite of passage.  Rebelling by doing something that doesn't immediately kill them.  A young person’s way to demonstrate their contribution to anarchy that is so counterintuitive to real anarchy it is laughable. When you smoke you perpetuate an economic cycle that has generated trillions upon trillions of dollars from the sale of tobacco and its products for nearly four centuries in America. As a new smoker you increase the wealth and the influence of this entrenched establishment.

Hyperbole? I wish. I could relate personal stories of how it has affected my life and my immediate family and some of my friends but so can you. I could recount the statistics but we have become inured to them. They mean nothing. Just more white noise that no one can hear until it directly affects your life but by then it is most often too late. We, the people, may try to regulate where and when but we can’t stop people from smoking even if we made it completely unlawful. You see how well that works with “illegal” drugs. Government regulation is not the ultimate answer. Self regulation is.  I do believe that some of us are born with a predilection to substance abuse but even with that consideration, IT IS STILL A CHOICE.

So here is what I ask of those of you who smoke...
  • Do everything in your power to stop smoking. If you are a person of some importance like say the leader of the free world, make it your top personal priority to quit. Let us know the story. Tweet about how difficult it is to quit. Don’t hide your private battle with tobacco. Share it.
  • If you’re someone who is two heartbeats away from being the leader of the free world, you should quit as well and make it just as public. Your recent admission that you DO smoke on "60 Minutes" AND that you don’t want to stop does not demonstrate leadership only stubbornness and selfish denial.
  • Please don’t have the delusion that walking down the street or standing out in front of building enjoying your cigarette has no effect on passersby. It does.
  • And I know you’ve heard a million times before that it’s bad for you and you shouldn’t smoke but it really is bad for you and everyone you encounter day in and day out for the entire duration of your smoking life.
I would love to see this headline soon,
Now that’s change I can believe in.

1 comment:

Stuart Barrett said...

This is such an important subject to bring to light. As I write, I have a friend battling bladder cancer from many yrs. of smoking, and five yrs. ago I lost a brother to lung cancer.Just now on TV, a PSA said: annually, smoking kills more than alcohol, murder, AIDS and car crashes, combined.Someone moved in next to me and smokes, so I deal with not only the stench, but restricted breathing, burning eyes and sneezing.She might as well drop by and light up. It's called 3rd hand smoke(there is such a thing). I too would love to see the day when the industry goes under.