American Tobacco: Point — Counterpoint
A Satirical Look Inside the Smoke-Filled Room
If second-hand smoke filled rooms were as dangerous as some indicate, I would have died before my fifth birthday!
Heck, even vitamin supplements can be hazardous to our health. There are not any laws against taking too many vitamins. Have you not read that unhealthy vitamin levels seems to predispose people to (1) diarrhea, (2) broken bones, (3) uncontrolled bleeding, (4) nerve damage, and (5) poor diet. Some imbibers think that by taking vitamins they can ignore eating a good balanced diet.
Respect for All
Respect is a two-way street. Why cannot non-smokers show more respect? Don’t you think that most smokers have already learned to respect non-smokers?
Politics & Public Relations
The Smoking Dilemma, particularly since the 1980s, has become a political and public relations issue. There has been fear mongering in the media. In California, anti-smoking TV ads are indeed financed and funded by greater sales of cigarettes. Local governments have been enforcing freedom-less regulations. In some jurisdictions, one cannot smoke outside. I suspect that anger, fear, and anxiety are motivating new laws. I cannot blame folks for still being mad and outraged at the tobacco industry for hiding science during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s about the ills of cigarette smoking. Smokers are not a ‘protected group’ under the Americans with Disabilities Act even though many believe that people who use tobacco are a minority in poor health. Smoking can be misinterpreted as a condition that adversely affects major normal lifestyle functions. Therefore, smokers have lost their rights without any legal recourse for recovering them.
My great grandfather established a cigar/pipe store, book shop, and restaurant in Indiana that my father and one of my grandfathers managed into my teenage years before I even began smoking. None of these men died of lung cancer. Smoking fine tobacco is part of my family heritage.
Buy American Goods
Tobacco is a native American vegetable that helps the country’s economic gross national product. The Virginia and Turkish tobacco grown around North Carolina is highly appreciated, respected, and desired throughout the world. American cigarettes have been coveted for over a century.
What is hard to swallow is the stereotype mantle placed on all smokers.
Perhaps over 25% still benefit from tobacco (if nothing else, a ten minute break in a busy day). I have found smoking helpful to me.
The relaxing qualities of taking a cigarette break are both therapeutic and thought provoking. I am able to sort out my thoughts and formulate better ideas benefiting my personal and professional life.
Smoking with others is usually a pleasant social activity, too.
It also buys some quiet time to settle down.
My least favorite annoyance is getting negative comments about the scent of tobacco. Geez, would you rather I burn some incense in the car?
People find it hard to believe me. I tell folks that I do not inhale. True, too, is that I like the taste of tobacco and feel that it compliments the enjoyment of coffee, wine, thinking, and conversation. You’d assume that I am sick. Just two weeks ago, after more than 40 years of tobacco use, I took my doctor’s orders and undertook a spirometry test of my lungs. I am happy to report that my respiratory system still is operating within normal limits.
What pains me is that if we have a constitutional right and freedom to consume American goods, what kind of respect can we expect from one another?
Shalom – Peace
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[ for musement only ]