Thursday, 23 June 2011

Smokers Unite!

I am a smoker.  A pariah.  An antithesis of what is currently acceptable.  A second class citizen.  All because I smoke.

I started smoking when I was eleven years old.  It was the 1970s and smoking was all the rage.  My mother and father smoked, my friends smoked, in fact nearly everyone was smoking.  It was natural for me to be curious about what everyone was doing.  As a result I became addicted.  I enjoyed smoking.

Time goes on and perceptions change.  The western society as a whole went a little health crazy with the condemnations of the use of chemicals in farming and the freedom of livestock.  Health issues became headline news and more and more people began to tell us what was good for us and what wasn't.  Gone were the days where you could eat what you wanted and live a long life.  Now, if you ate a certain something or did a certain something, it would knock years off your lifespan.

Our society went insane.

The older generation sat back with their pork fat sandwiches (on white bread), a pint of whiskey and a packet of full strength cigarettes and thought everyone had gone mad.  In fact, they had.  If you didn't conform to what was good, then you were reprimanded and criticized for having no concern for your own welfare.  It was a wonder that mankind had survived as long as it had, considering that everything had become dangerous to our collective health.

At the top of this new list of what was bad was smoking.  Anything that had to do with smoking was fair game for the self appointed health experts.  Advertising, marketing, sales and the actual act of smoking was attacked.  It was a war against tobacco and smoking.  Human rights was touted and health issues identified.

The first to fall was the advertising.  Tobacco manufacturers could no longer use billboards, television and, most significantly, motor racing.  The loss of this revenue had an adverse effect on those that depended on it, but the do-gooders had only just gotten started.  Once advertising was banned, they went on and managed to ban smoking in bars and restaurants.  Once again it was the businesses that were affected, customers no longer being able to smoke resulted in fewer customers.

From there it spread like an infection.  Offices, public buildings, train stations, airports and public transport.  The health and safety extremists professed that passive smoking (the smoke off cigarettes being inhaled by those that didn't actually smoke) caused serious health issues.  Although, to date, there has been no solid proof of this (bearing in mind all of the toxic chemicals already in our atmosphere) but that didn't matter.  They had more ammunition and they have now taken it to the next step.

In New York they are trying to ban smoking in Central Park.  In the UK, a law has been passed that makes it illegal to have tobacco in plain sight in shops.  Tobacco has now become an under the counter item!

Changing tact, medical institutes were pressured to prioritise organ transplants to non-smokers first.  It was decided that smokers were already killing themselves and so giving them life saving transplants was pointless.

Am I the only one who believes that our human rights have been thrown out of the window of common sense?  Not only have smokers been ostracised from society but our welfare has been dictated by zealous public servants influenced by the tide of health conscious fanatics.

Isn't it time these people were reigned in?  Soon it will be illegal to smoke!

It wasn't my fault that I was raised during a time when smoking was considered the norm.  I became addicted and, after many failed attempts to stop, I have made a decision to smoke.  Should I be marked as a pariah or ostracised for my legal choice?  What happened to my rights as a human being?  Why, after hundreds of years have we suddenly decided that it should not be allowed as it can kill us?  Driving can kill, drinking alcohol can kill, especially if the two are combined.  Are they going to banned too?

I have donated a regular sum of money to Cancer Research UK for over twenty years.  Although the chances of me getting cancer are more down to my genes than me smoking, I have, in a small way, contributed to saving hundreds of lives.  Our atmosphere is so polluted that in London people wear masks in order to clean some of the air they breath.  Do you really think that some cigarette smoke is going to make matters worse?  No, of course it wont but tabacco was targeted and now I am paying the price.  The tax on tobacco in the UK is extortionate.  It's so bad criminals have begun to make fake cigarettes, containing sometimes lethal levels of toxins.  Those that cannot afford the insane prices being charged for a packet of cigarettes are turning to these fakes.  How are the health nuts going to justify the increased risk to the health of these individuals as a result of their crusade?

Enough is enough.  We all know smoking isn't healthy but there are so many other things that are unhealthy too, far too many to list.  Why pick on us?  How about giving us a break and allowing us to exercise our human right to chose what we want to do?  Stop making it difficult for us to exercise that right.


  1. Great article~! Thanks for posting your thoughts. What you have said makes more sense than anything I have read on the subject, and much in line with my own way of thinking. I too became addicted when smoking was the 'thing to do' - everyone was smoking. At 72, and not in poor health, I enjoy smoking. It's a simple pleasure that I intend to continue, unless the zealots get worse.

  2. I'll continue to smoke even if it becomes illegal. Self-righteous bigots are getting extraordinarily tedious.