Smoking: a dangerous act of conformity

The author speaks on the ills of lighting up

The author, a Chico resident, “quit smoking in 1984 and is still glad.”

I live in an upstairs apartment and the young neighbors downstairs smoke heavily on their patio, directly underneath my second-story porch. The smoke is plentiful and it rises into my home, through my slider, and I can’t use my balcony at all. If it’s a beautiful, cool night, and I leave the bedroom window open, it wafts in when I’m trying to sleep.

There is a very pleasant, open smoking area with trees, picnic tables and dedicated butt receptacles about 30 feet from these young people’s front door. But they are affronted if asked to go there.

So I offer the following in support of my complaint: The carcinogenic toxins are deposited, on a molecular level, throughout clothes, on skin and in hair. Every time you pick up your baby, you are passing these toxins into that child’s respiratory system and bloodstream. Perhaps you will stop this dangerous behavior instead of having to see your asthmatic child unable to breathe.

Further: Poison-laden gas has been in your body, in your lungs and your mouth, and anyone near you has to breathe it. If I am standing next to a person with major veins full of heroin, it affects me physically not one bit. If I am standing next to a person smoking a cigarette, I might as well be smoking it myself.

Also: The purchase of cigarettes supports millionaire fatcats who don’t care how many millions of people die horrible deaths from their product. Enriching these unconscionable leeches makes anyone a fool in their game. If the idea is to be some independent Marlboro rebel, the reality is that cigarette smoking is an act of utter conformity, supporting a corrupt, insanely wealthy industry and its attendant power.

Any regular smoker is addicted to nicotine and has the rationalization and ineffective behavior that attends any other addiction. However, since it is physically worse for everyone else than any other addiction, it is more incumbent upon smokers to quit.

Help is available, and overcoming such a destructive behavior is rewarding on many levels.