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Friday, 8 August 2014

How to Free Yourself From Cigarette Addicts

First of all, you need to identify a cigarette addict. That is fairly easy since smoking is so addictive. A cigarette addict is what I prefer to call smokers, since the vast majority of people who smoke do so addictively. I want to shine a light on this serious addiction that is so often relegated to "the nebulous smoking section." There is this myth that we can segregate cigarette addicts into sections of restaurants, hospitals, and so on. As long as it is temporarily out of sight, out of one's nose then smoking is not discussed anymore. Nobody wants to rock the boat. Nobody wants to tell Gramma or poor old Uncle Melvin that they are indeed addicts.

 The vast majority of smokers are addicts. We were not taught in school that tobacco is an addiction, and the deadliest of all of them as it kills the greatest number of people, including nonsmokers. I remember in Grade 6 when I was 12 receiving the equivalent of one or two classes in Family Values Education about the dangers of smoking. The total time was hardly even two hours. This is a joke. Schools are designed to educate and they have much more to do in preventing youth from taking up tobacco. The dangers were vaguely mentioned, and never followed up on. In order to eliminate anyone taking up smoking we need far more education and intervention and law enforcement. You don't see kids chewing tobacco nowadays, or sniffing snuff? These silly habits became virtually extinct, and tobacco can disappear as well. Therefore I strongly urge all of us to lobby our local school boards and school trustees for far more detailed, ongoing weekly talks about the hazards of tobacco. 

Do smokers themselves think they are addicts? If they do, they are doing very little about it. The smokers I know are very defensive and are in huge denial about how much smoking negatively affects those around them. Trying to explain my eyes are tearing, stinging, and my throat is dry and I'm constantly clearing it for days, weeks after a short visit to a house that hasn't been smoked in for hours seems to fall on deaf ears. So I decided to write this blog to reach out and appeal to a broader vaster network of like-minded individuals who themselves want to a lot more done than just a nonsmoking section on a plane or restaurant. Ugh! Just the thought of being in an airplane where even one person smokes once is nauseating. Yet are they rushing to 12 step meetings to get help to quit? Hardly. I never saw so many cigarette addicts as recovering alcoholics. Yet tobacco is what killed the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Is this addiction adequately addressed by doctors, dentists, nurses and all therapists? No.

 As long as we keep saying it is a socially acceptable addiction we are sugarcoating the problem. The problem IS precisely that we have all erroneously agreed that it is a socially acceptable addiction. We are the individuals who make up this society. And it is up to us to stop perpetuating such a dangerous addiction. It is as if we are apologizing for it. But I believe we are enabling it to go on on a wide scale, with only drawing imaginary lines as to where a person can smoke. It has been shown that the air in China travels here by wind within one day. So it is pointless to talk about tobacco and other pollutants without going global. We must start in schools, and we must expect more of our places of worship, health clinics and law enforcement. People, we need to speak up and be heard, and we need to do it now, before it's too late and Gramma dies before Johnny's wedding or graduation. This is serious. It is an epidemic, it is a modern-day plague.


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