Smoking smokers

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I want to say a few things to people who smoke:

My father said he never smoked until he joined the navy during WWII.   Everyone got smoke breaks from their work details, unless you didn't smoke, in which case you had to keep working.   So anyone who wanted to take a break with the rest of the guys became a smoker.   Seems funny that the government is blaming the tobacco companies for something they helped propagate.   My father quit smoking when they started linking cancer to smoking, but by then it was too late.   Lung cancer killed him at 70, giving him only 7 years of retirement from 45 years of work.   I miss him a lot.   My mother quit about the same time my father did.   She has emphysema now and has to use oxygen sometimes, but otherwise is in great health for someone 83 years old.   One of her sisters died last year after being on oxygen for several years.   The others also have chronic lung problems.   I don't have much sympathy for smokers anymore.   We've known for 25 years that it is really bad for you.   If you still smoke, you're stupid.   My oldest brother smoked until a few years ago.   He hugged his grandson one day and asked for a kiss on the cheek.   His grandson said "no, grandpa, you stink like smoke."   That was what it took for my brother to quit.   What does it take for you to quit?

As for me, I smoked like Bill Clinton.   I tried for a while when I was in high school, but always coughed when I inhaled, so I tried just puffing with my cheeks.   My friends laughed at me when I didn't inhale, so I stopped smoking.   Being a non-smoker was better than being laughed at for not inhaling.   "Thank You" for laughing at me when I smoked.

My daughter had to do a survey when she was in high school as one of her class assignments.   I suggested she ask people about their habits.   She asked things like "do you smoke?", "do you wear a seat belt?", "do you drive over or under the speed limit?", etc.   Amazingly, almost everyone who smoked also didn't wear seat belts.   It was like some people have a death wish or just refuse to accept someone else telling them what they should do.   I agree that it is irritating to hear others harp on you, but it is stupid to ignore sound advice.   I am thankful that neither of my children smoke and both wear their seat belts.

I'm 50 and only have one uncle alive out of 10.   None of the other nine lived a long life.   Lots of lung cancer and heart attacks, and lots of smokers.   I remember everyone playing kick-ball at the family picnics.   I was little, but I got to hold the cigarette for the person at bat (kicking).   I also remember watching how they would quickly put the cigarette in their mouth to catch and throw the ball.   It seemed everyone smoked.   Thankfully, most of them quit, but for many it was too late.   My grandparents and great-aunts and great uncles didn't smoke.   They all lived well into their eighties and nineties.   My mom's mother lived to 100 and never has any lung problems.   It was the generations that grew up in the 40's through the 60's that smoked.   They're the ones only living into their 60's and 70's.

If you tell a smoker that they smell like smoke, they don't believe you.   They insist you are just saying that to get them to stop smoking.   They can't smell it, so they don't believe you can either.

Smokers are litterbugs.   Take some time and watch a smoker who is driving.   Invariably, they will toss the butt out the window.   They all sincerely believe that cigarettes are biodegradable.   I've picked trash up along the street fronts in places where I've lived, and for an "adopt-a-road" program, and I can tell you that cigarettes aren't biodegrading.   As far as the number of items, cigarette butts probably outnumber all other litter combined by at least a hundred to one.   Look around the ground where the smokers at work spend their breaks.   Lots of butts ground into the pavement, burn marks on the walls, and butts on the ground.

Smokers are rude.   They really think that what they do is a private matter.   Cigarette smoke doesn't "stink" to them, and it doesn't burn their eyes.   They don't believe cancer will affect them and they don't believe it will affect others.   Their cars and homes have burn marks on the carpeting and they don't think it is a big deal if they burn something you have.   If you're smart, you won't allow anyone to smoke in your home, and you won't put up with it anywhere smoking isn't allowed.   I am glad that Florida passed a state amendment to prohibit smoking in all public establishments.   It has made going out to eat much more pleasurable.

Smokers have clouded reasoning abilities.   While I was single between marriages, I went to some singles clubs.   Even though smokers were in the minority, they didn't believe it lessened their chances of finding a mate.   However, I heard many people say "They're nice except for the smoke."   If you're single and you smoke, you are pushing away about 75% of your possible mates.   I don't know why, but smokers don't understand this.

Smokers waste a lot of money.   At $3 per pack, and a pack a day, that's about $1100 per year.   Many people have asked me how I could justify spending $700 for my bicycle, but they seldom ask a smoker how they can justify $1100 for cigarettes.   My answer is "I can afford a lot of stuff because I don't smoke."

For those of you who smoke, I probably can't say anything to change your mind.   I know your thinking is like any drug addict's.   But here is my advice.


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This page last updated 01/23/05