Perhaps it's because I do not smoke cigarettes that I am writing this. I have never agreed with the idea of infecting your lungs with tobacco or getting addicted to nicotine. But I was reading the side of the pack of Player's Light on the desk in my father's office and here are the ingredients:

  • Toxic Constituents(Average)
  • "Tar" 13 mg, Nicotine 1.2 mg
  • Carbon Monoxide 13 mg

I had never read the ingredients before. But now that I have, they sicken me even more.

Some web research has yielded studies that smoking about ten
cigarettes per day increases the risk of fatal lung cancer by 30-80%.
The risk of fatal heart disease increases by a similar ratio.
Like so many, these statistics are just raw data, with no causality (or casualty) necessarily implied. A simple example is the fact that these studies don't consider the rest of these smokers' lifestyles; it's not unlikely that people who care little enough for their health, and smoke till they're 80 have other things contributing to their illness.

This package warning is another example of wishy-washy doublethinking Canadian government propaganda.

You're probably sick of hearing this, but it's nonetheless true: Cigarettes are the only product you as a consumer can buy, which, if used according to the manufacturer's instructions, will result in the premature end of your life.

On the other hand, there is no such thing as unhealthy food. That is an oxymoron: if it's totally unhealthy, it's not food. Eating only Big Macs will probably kill you quicker than smoking, but even a Big Mac has some nutritional value, and could even save your life if you were dying from hunger.

So please, argue about smokers' rights, passive smoking, health fascism or whatever else springs to mind, but there's really no point in denying that smoking is a uniquely unhealthy activity. To point out that there are many more negative health factors out there, including our precious cars, is just stating the obvious. Smoking is entirely within your control, unlike pollution, war or passive smoking (that is not to say that you don't have a certain degree of control over each of these).

So, if you're interested in your health, one of the simplest actions you can take to help preserve it is to avoid smoking. If you're not interested in your health, then please continue to smoke, but don't delude yourself that it's not killing you.

Either way, you're welcome to join me in trying to do something about those cars!

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