Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Smoking Rant

I work with a lot of people in their early 20s. And it seems nearly all of them smoke, almost without exception. It seems as if a larger percentage of them smoke than did those of my generation when I was in my 20s.

I don't get it. Growing up with information about the dangers of smoking, from lung cancer to emphysema, bombarding them at every turn, I don't see how anyone with half a brain takes up smoking nowadays. I pass them huddling outside on their smoke breaks, sometimes making a smart remark, "Getting a head start on that case of lung cancer, hmm?" and they laugh and keep on puffing.

The truth about the dangers of smoking have been around since the early sixties, at least, yet people continue to doggedly take up smoking. It's almost as if they have a death wish. Surely everyone has had a relative, friend, or who has known someone personally who died from the effects of smoking. Yet, they smoke on.

My mother smoked. Smoking was a direct cause of her early death in her forties from a massive stroke. I remember my father doing everything he could to get her to stop, but she kept on until it killed her. However, her death served as a negative example for her children, none of whom smoke today, myself included.

But at least my mother's generation has an excuse for when they took up smoking. My mother began smoking as a teen during World War II when the negative effects of smoking were not yet clearly known. Indeed, smoking was promoted at that time as an aid to weight loss, and several advertisements of the time featured doctors endorsing their favorite brand of cigarettes.

But people today who start smoking -- there is no excuse. It's just plain stupidity.

Following below are a couple of ads that convinced my mother's generation that smoking was harmless

1 comment:

Roger said...

Don't most young people think they will live forever and nothing can hurt them? I think I used to feel that way when I was young. Result was I got hooked on tobacco and smoked 1-2 packs a day for over 20 years. I quit 20 years ago, but it was very difficult. My brother and father died indirectly from smoking.