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smoking is retarded
i just signed up 5 minutes ago. had to get my 1st out quick!
by david damsker
1.9.03
humor


I may be offending some of you with my first column. I don't care. This topic means too much to me.

Why the hell do people smoke?

This has been bugging me since I was a little kid, having sat next to my grandmother at family functions, constantly having to swat away the fumes, much to my grandmother's embarrassment. (She used to hit me sometimes if I made too much of a stink. Pun intended.)

Considering that 80% of people who smoke began before they were 18, the problem is obviously an early one. However, I will venture to say that anyone who is 30 years or younger and smokes is retarded. Not retarded in the classical sense (although many mentally handicapped people may smoke), but retarded in the "what-you-call-your-friends-when-they-do-something-stupid" sense of the word. I mean, come on, we have known definitively since the late 60's that cigarettes cause all kinds of cancers as well as heart disease and emphysema. That means all of us have grown up our entire lives knowing this. Yet, in our burning desire to be "cool", it seems to negate our common sense. (Even I smoked a cigarette once.....unlike Bill Clinton, though, I REALLY didn't inhale.) Even in the days prior to "knowing" cigarettes are bad for us, people knew they were bad news. There have been smoker's coughs for centuries. There have been thick, green gobs of snot venturing out of people's throats for centuries.

What are we thinking the first time we pick up a cigarette? "Hmmm....the idea of thick, black smoke pouring into my lungs sounds so awesome! I'm going to keep doing it, too, even though I just coughed like crazy because my body is TELLING me this is bad for me!"

The thing that irks me most is the strong resistance to non-smoking restaurants and bars. The reasoning that they would lose business is absurd. Last time I was in California, the bars ALL had long lines to get in. (Which, by the way, I left with no foul-smelling stench on my person.)

Speaking of bars, why the hell do people drink?


ABOUT DAVID DAMSKER

Cynical. Funny. Logical. Atheist. Honest. Argumentative. Loyal. Talkative. Stubborn.

more about david damsker

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COMMENTS

trey askew
1.10.03 @ 11:39a

I was with ya until the drinking part. Really though the biggest problem is money. Being from a state where tobacco is the biggest cash crop you come to realize you can't just rip that part out of your economy. I know it's not pretty and eventually it will fade (at least in the US) but it takes time.

sarah ficke
1.10.03 @ 12:02p

Yeah, the thought of trying to come up with another cash crop in this economy, which is already tough on farmers, is daunting.

erik myers
1.10.03 @ 12:27p

There's always marijiuana.

tracey kelley
1.10.03 @ 12:40p

Because of Adam you joined the site? Well now.

As a former smoker, I still wonder what made me pick up the first one. I remember being bored, and thinking it would be an interesting diversion.

7 years later, I was up to 2 packs a day. It was time to quit.

adam kraemer
1.10.03 @ 12:59p

First off, check out my smoking column. I think I chronicle quite well how someone can start smoking.

Second of all, I drink to forget my problems and make me better looking.

david damsker
1.10.03 @ 1:14p

It's funny because I hadn't read the column by Adam. He is someone that I may have "insulted." Oops! Sorry, Adam! :) However, Nicotine is the reason people smoke. Period. Nobody would smoke without the nicotine present. Smoking "lights" you say? You just drag harder per drag and make up for it. Proven fact. Everyone (well, almost evrybody) who smokes is a drug-addict. (In the nicest sense of the word, of course.) Hey, I'm addicted to sushi...maybe there's something in the fish.

heather millen
1.10.03 @ 1:17p

Much like Trey, ya baffled me with the drinking.

But I live in California, and I absolutely love that you can't smoke in bars and restaurants. It's a nuisance to other patrons. And quite frankly, it's gross.

adam kraemer
1.10.03 @ 2:57p

Actually, it's funny. I friend of mine is in market research and I'm part of a study his company is doing on low-nicotene cigarettes made by some company called Quest. The idea is to go from the low-nicotene to the ultra-low-nicotene to these nicotene-free cigs that they've apparently developed.

And it's not just the drug, Dave - it's also the habit. I crack my knuckles habitually, too, but there's no drug in that.

david damsker
1.10.03 @ 3:16p

Adam, I agree the "habit" aspect also makes it harder to quit. That is certainly part of it as well. However, I stand by the fact the you would not have made it a habit in the first place had there been no nicotine.

Quest cigarettes still contain plenty of bad stuff. There are estimated to be over 4800 various compounds in tobacco smoke, 62 of which are known carcinogens. This is EXCLUSIVE of nicotine.

erik myers
1.10.03 @ 4:35p

I'm with Adam. I smoked because I liked it... and then on top of it there was habit, and there was addiction. When I started smoking there was never any part of me that said, "Oh my god! This is horrible!" but there were plenty of parts of me that said, "Hey, that really goes well with coffee, doesn't it?"

mike julianelle
1.11.03 @ 11:46a

I smoked cuz it was coo,, and it IS cool. Sure, nicotine eventually grabbed a hold of me, but only after a while. There's clearly no denying it's an addiction, and that lots of people start because of image or peer pressure, but I still maintain it's a choice, unhealthy or not. Cell phones and microwaves cause cancer too, but we still use them. Smoke, don't smoke, but don't judge either way. If I want to be stupid and self-destrucitive, so be it. It's America. Back off.



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