Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Is anyone else starting to get really annoyed by those '' advertisements about how evil the tobacco industry is?

Let me just say that as an ex-smoker who smoked for well over ten years, those advertisements impress only one type of person, and that's people who have never smoked and have no plan to.

You see, I believe that the way we choose to educate kids about smoking is all wrong and very similar to 'abstinence only' sex education. Put it this way, I took my first puff on my first cigarette to prove to a smoker that smoking was absolutely awful, wasn't pleasant in any way and people only smoked to look cool. Of course, I inhaled that first lungful of cigarette smoke and instead of coughing and hacking, my head started to buzz and I felt like I was floating.

Basically, all the anti-smoking propaganda I'd been exposed to never told me about how good it felt…which is an important point, because in that very instant I was convinced that everyone who'd ever told me smoking was bad was full of shit. Smoking had been demonized way too much, so when I experienced smoking for myself and enjoyed it, it called into question everything I'd ever been taught.

Which is why these 'Truth' ads piss me off so much. What they say is that the tobacco industry is evil and everyone who smokes is a victim who has been manipulated into smoking. The real 'truth' is I knew for a fact that every one of the hundreds of thousands of cigarettes I smoked was doing me damage…but I chose to smoke because I liked it.

Here's the bit these people miss: 99.9% of people who smoke know smoking is killing them but choose to smoke anyway. Now, before you call these people stupid, bear in mind that heart disease is America's biggest killer, not lung cancer…but over 14 billion burgers are eaten in the USA every year...and the weird thing is no-one is going on TV making ads about how evil the beef industry is.

The truth is, people smoke because it's just possible that they could get lung cancer in some vague and distant future in the same way people who eat fast food every day don't worry too much about having a heart attack ten years from now.

Long story short, all this propaganda, all this talk of how evil smoking was didn't stop me from smoking. As I mentioned above, everything I'd ever been told about smoking told me that I'd take a puff of a cigarette, it would taste horrible, make my breath smell and I'd cough like crazy…when that didn't happen it made everything I'd ever heard invalid.

You know what would have stopped me from ever smoking? If someone had said this:

"Smoking is absolutely awesome when you first start. Nicotine is a real and very powerful drug and for a while you'll feel totally buzzed while you smoke. Even when that stops happening, a cigarette can take you from totally stressed out to completely relaxed with just a few puffs. The bad part is that this 'stage' doesn't last very long at all. Every cigarette you smoke has less of an effect than the last one you smoked as your body gets used to it… until it actually goes the other way and you feel bad pretty much all the time and smoke just to feel normal again. If you want to know what that's like, imagine the hungriest you've ever felt, imagine that feeling in your lungs, and imagine that smoking a cigarette is the only way to make that feeling go away…but it only goes away for about ten minutes before it starts again. Oh and on top of all that, you'll be coughing all the time, have much higher blood pressure and get out of breathe as easily as a 90 year old."

Basically, smoking isn't horrible, smoking is awesome…it's just the price you pay for it is way too high.



Evan 08 said...

I've got to confess that I'm amused by the cowboy singing with the voice box.

Anonymous said...

you just made me Want to smoke! so true, so true