Mrs. Cobble - thanks for your kindness and for speaking your truth. Healthy blessings to you.
I've smoked for 30-odd years of my 40-odd years of life. This is a most unpopular - even dangerous - stance right now, but in spite of what we are all told is true about tobacco, the following is the truth as far as MY life is concerned.
I am hardly ever sick - always been healthy. I exercise regularly - outdoors mostly, in the fresh air. I have known - and seen - many MANY people who lived to a ripe healthy old age having smoked all their lives. My own grandfather being one of them. I've never known anyone who died, or who got cancer, from smoking, and I've known a lot of smokers. But I've sure watched a lot go under from drinking and obesity. I'd rather make decisions based on the truth I see around me, and in me, than what others try to convince me is true.
I do not have sore throats or allergies or asthma or bronchitis or coughing fits. Never did.
My teeth are not yellow and neither are my fingers. Even if they were, how does that harm anyone?
My clothes and hair and home do not stink, because I smoke only outdoors now. Have for the last couple years. And I like using breath mints after I smoke. Can't stand the taste - or smell - of stale tobacco smoke.
I love fresh air and I can't stand second-hand smoke. I never use 'smoking areas' - they are much too smelly and crowded. I prefer to go for walks - alone - when I smoke. Gives me time to clear my mind and think a bit. Maybe even send a few prayers up into the ethers.
I never smoke around children or around non-smokers. I've quit a couple times and I know how awful the smoke is to a non-smoker.
Yes, I've spent a lot of money on tobacco over the years, but certainly no 'fortune'. I don't drink alcohol - really makes me sick, even one drink. I figure that more than makes up for it.
I do know of a young couple who died in a house-fire, started by a cigarette, many years ago. They were both very drunk the night of the tragedy, and had passed out after a long alcohol-induced fight. No innocent victims were involved. Those two paid a high price for their drunkenness and carelessness.
Yes, I know what tobacco-cravings are like. They are very similiar to the craving for air, water, food, sleep, exercise, MUSIC!!(my personal favourite), alcohol, good company, mental stimulation, video games, sex, coffee, TV, chocolate, attention, power-and-control over others - whatever turns different people on. To have an "addictive personality" is to be a human being. Some things we crave are physical necessities - like air and water and food, and some are personal choices - like music or sex or tobacco or hating others. But all are, IMO - "addictions" and we NEED our addictions for survival and for self-development.
I do know that the motives behind the anti-smoking propoganda campaigns are political and economic, not public health (see my post above re the demise of the tobacco farms). I've watched this happen for years, and I refuse to deny the evidence of my own eyes.
And I do know the power of suggestion. When people are told, day after day that they are going to get this or that disease, it's pretty guaranteed that a lot of them eventually will. That is Psychology 101. We create our everyday realities based on what we BELIEVE is true, believe it or not. To bombard people with frightening, negative and unsubstantiated propoganda, especially regarding their personal health, is IMO truly 'criminal'. But it does pay off for the rich and powerful. And disease IS big business, in Canada. How many people - and chemical/drug companies, would be out of work if no-one got sick? Gotta keep those 'suckers' rollin in!
For every clinical study claiming a causal relationship between smoking and various illnesses (sponsored by the anti-smoking lobby) there is one claiming exactly the opposite (sponsored by the tobacco industry). We just never hear about the latter. Big Brother knows what's best for us, after all! And most people can't be bothered looking them up. Much easier to let someone else tell us what to think and believe. Even if what they are telling you is biased and dangerous to your mind and to your health. So put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!
Anyway, I repeat I am in no way encouraging anyone to start or continue smoking. I like to hear people feel good about themselves for quitting, and I know it is a health requirement for some. But not for all. We are all different, physically and otherwise.
I know if and when I decide to put tobacco down for good, it will be FOR REASONS OF MY OWN, not in response to propoganda or the ill-thought-out rantings of hateful 'politically-correct' non-smokers. And it will be easy for me. I AM in charge of my mind and my life, and as long as I love myself everything in my life works in divine right order. Because I choose to make it so.
I'm most grateful to Mudcat for this opportunity to express these 'politically incorrect' feelings and opinions. They've been bottled up inside for a long time now.
Peace and love to you all.