Sark on Smoking

When I was a little kid, I stumbled upon my two siblings smoking. In their infinite logic, they offered me a smoke, thinking that if I was smoking, then I wouldn’t tell on them. Teen logic at its best.

Thankfully, my smoking habit ended as quickly as it started, but for many people I have known, smoking was a big part of their life. When they went out to bars, it was as natural as having a beer. It was something they did to relax. It was something they enjoyed. Even as the facts about smoking killing people via cancer, people continued to smoke.

I heard somewhere, as most of us have, that it is easier to quite taking Heroin than it is to quit smoking. Thankfully, my smoking habit was quite brief, so any potential addiction never happened. Besides, my addiction was to more sugary stuff, IE: Coca-Cola, and munchy, IE: chips. But anyone who has actually quit smoking, and stayed smoke-free, has some serious resolve.

I would never take someone lightly if they were to try to quit smoking. I would never say “C’mon, just do it!” or “If you want it bad enough, you can do it.” Even if you do want it bad enough, it can be severely difficult to stop, especially if you’ve done it for a long time. Any missteps would be met with support. Everyone, trying to quit something serious, will always have missteps. What they don’t need is a lecture.

Having said all that, I am still boggled at the number of people I see that are STILL smoking!

The stats and reports about smoking being a leading cause of various types of cancers is pretty much academic. There’s no “ifs”, “ands”, or “buts” about it. Now they are gives stats and reports about people who have never smoked before getting cancer from second-hand smoke. In short, the bad habit that you inflict upon yourself is probably also affecting those around you, from strangers to loved ones.

There’s also the fact that people who smoke are supporting corporations whose sole purpose is to create an addictive product that will keep bring its sheep, sorry, consumers, back for more, even though it will probably kill them. But don’t worry about the corporations, they are aiming their sights on the next generation of people/ consumers. Every time someone lights-up a cigarette, they are supporting these corporations, who for decades, continue to argue that their products don’t kill. Its sort of like supporting a dictator who kills off people for their loyalty, knowing he’ll have another generation soon enough.

Speaking of corporations, I wonder how much work resources are lost when people take a smoke break? One day, I sat waiting for a truck repair and saw the same guy come out three times in the span of 30-45 minutes for a smoke. He didn’t come out just for a few quick puffs. He was out there for up to five minutes each time. Not a very productive person. I won’t go into the details of how lovely they smell.

Sure, there are a lot less smokers than there were, but they are still out there. They have all the knowledge of what smoking can do to them and to their loved ones. They know the corporations that makes their cigarettes are basically making money off millions of cancer-ridden people. They also know that it is their addiction that feeds their excuses to have a smoke break and be a less productive member of a company.

So why do they STILL do it?

The cynical side of me thinks they are trying to be a rebellious hold-out, or that they are clinging to a last vestige of their youth. Or it could be as simple as that they are helplessly addicted and it is easy to feed the addiction than it is to quit.

But the truth of it is, if you want to know why they still smoke, best to ask them.

In the end, I bet they don’t even know why.


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