It appears this smoking issue is probably the last bastion of »political correctness« to remain unchallenged...
I usually laugh off the PO-CO crap (with gusto).
But when it's actually obscuring the overall perception of the world and damaging a person's hold of him/herself, I am not going to remain silent,
no matter how unpopular my views may be.
»Smoking makes you stupid«...?
It's the first time I've even heard this particular myth, but whoever said that must have been smoking BIG TIME – and not tobacco, my friend...
I have had the privilege of meeting very prolific and profound creators and thinkers, mostly but not exclusively artists, actors and writers. No, let
me re-spell that: Artists, Actors and Writers. (Because it seems everyone can claim these titles these days. But the actors and, most especially,
writers I am talking about are/were a category unto themselves, not just guys with writing equipment and a »good idea for a story«.)
Some of those were or later became statesmen – and not the stupidest around.
99% of them were not smokers – they were HEAVY smokers. A cigarette was like a permanent attribute of theirs. There are some that I cannot recall in
my memory without a cigarette in their hands.
»Smokers have diminished physical capacities«?
Some do; some don't.
One of the writers mentioned above used to run every single morning, UPHILL through a woody terrain (maybe he still does, it's just that I haven't
met him in more than 10 years), and he was close to sixty at the time.
He also used to smoke at least 30 cigarettes a day, and had been doing that since his teens.
But that's nothing compared to Joe DiMaggio who, I am told, used to smoke no less than 40 cigarettes a day – and that was during his most active
years as a baseball player.
Socrates, a Brazilian footballer, used to smoke 60 (sixty) cigarettes a day when he was one of the most formidable members of the Brazilian national
And I am told Johan Cruyff, a legend, used to smoke even more than that during his active years as a football player.
(I actually heard him say 100 - that's one hundred, a day - but he may have been just boasting or... whatever.)
Am I advocating smoking?
But I am not going to listen to bunk, either, and say nothing – sorry.
What I am
advocating is personal freedom.
And it is my conviction that personal freedom is, no doubt, much greater without any addictions.
Speaking of addictions...
That is one of the myths that I find truly sinister – because I cannot, for the life of me, see the reason why would anyone claim that, when it is
actually not true.
People CAN stop smoking (or most other behaviours) at any time they please, without any suffering. Or indeed (as one of the poster indicated) a person
can quite easily have a cigarette now and then without developing even the slightest »addiction«. I have two friends who are quite capable of
smoking 15 cigarettes in an evening – and then not even THINK of them for the next two years.
I have seen it, I have experienced it myself.
Even in people with high levels of addictiveness (what is usually – and most incorrectly – called »addictive personality«, as if it were
something inborn or permanent, when it's not), ANY addiction will be purged out of the system in 21-23 days.
Psychological addiction, of course, is something else – and pumping false fear-based ideas into people's heads (»it's VERRRY difficult, you
won't be able to quit!«) is actually just reinforcing the slavery of the supposed addiction.
And THAT'S what I find sinister: because it almost seems as if there were a purpose to the perpetuating of this myth – and I cannot see the use,
the purpose of perpetuating this particular myth.
For those who would like to quit smoking and THINK they can't do it on their own, try the objectivist method proposed by Barbara Branden, an ex-
disciple of Ayn Rand.
And finally, the statistics...
You may have read this or not, you may believe this or not, but the FACT you'll never hear (unless you press hard to extract it from people) is that
in all those »cancer deaths« a direct and irrefutable correlation between their smoking and their cancer (not just lung) has not been
Yes, laboratory research and studies have shown that certain components found in tobacco products can cause cancer in rats and other lab animals.
Yes, the people included in the stats who died of cancer had smoked.
What they forget to tell you is that, not so long ago, MOST adults in the societies covered by those statistics used to smoke...
On the other hand, we all know (or know of) people who got cancer – even lung cancer – without having smoked a single cigarette in their life.
(Oh right... »secondary smoking«!
Well, no – certainly not as a norm.
The disease was around well before the advent of cigarettes.)
So, considering all the other common (but, curiously, less targeted) carcinogens of the same era – like, fried food (because of the boiling oil),
pesticides, the once ubiquitous asbestos, all kinds of environmental (and other) factors – how do we know it's really cigarettes what brought the
disease upon them?
They MAY have, but we don't know
The argument goes:
»X died of cancer + s/he smoked = cigarettes caused her/his cancer.«
Well, they MAY have.
Because in reality, the picture looks more like this:
»X (who clearly had a genetic predisposition towards the disease) died of cancer + s/he smoked – AND/OR s/he ate fried foods, AND/OR s/he lived
in an asbestos-infested environment, AND/OR he ate tons of fruits and vegetables treated with what is now known as carcinogenic substances, AND/OR was
exposed to God know how many other known carcinogens = and one (maybe the cigarettes, maybe not) or more of these factors probably caused his
But, for some obscure reason, this vital part of the statistic figures is lost on the public (not to mention many of the the GPs).
Oh wait, it must be all that nicotine – that's what made people stupid...
I don't expect you to believe me, and of course you don't have to.
(I also know that, if you continue your research, you will eventually arrive at the same conclusions.)
I already said »finally« once, but I'd rather close with this thought:
You can "inject" a purpose – a healing purpose as well as a destructive one – into ANY product, any sight, any thought, anything you want.
If you don't do it yourself, others will do it for you.
So - guess where all those warning printed on cigarette packs are leading us...
I am sorry if this offends anyone.
(And I feel very funny finding myself in the role of a seeming passionate advocate of smoking – when, in reality, I am not. I am only passionate,
and very much so, about the things that matter to me – one of them being the survival of actual
, independent thinking by individuals.)
But I can and will also say this: a person who is offended by open discussion on this, has FAR worse problems to worry about than smoking...
There, the devil's advocate has spoken.
(Who would've thought he ever needed one, eh...?
I don't think I'll be returning to this thread – it doesn't have a good effect on my blood pressure :-) - so excuse my silence if you happen to
ask or say anything that would require my answer.
[edit on 30-9-2008 by Vanitas]