Posted by: Arkay | July 31, 2008

The ‘Winning’ Rant

I had thought to include a bunch of links in this post, but I think that would detract from the rant itself. I decided you can all do your own research if you want, I suggest you start with the Truth. Speaking of which, you will encounter some profanity below, but I tried to minimize it, forewarned.

 

Two things to begin with:

ONE: I have never taken even a single puff of a single cigarette in my entire life and am currently deathly allergic to cigarette smoke.
TWO: I have had many health related conditions from early childhood onwards that can only be attributable to cigarette smoking.

I am living proof of the severe dangers of second-hand smoke, especially to children. Both my parents smoked (eventually both quit) as well as two grandparents (both deaths smoking related) and almost all their friends (also all dead with most deaths being smoking related). Every winter growing up I was plagued with non-stop ‘colds’ which inevitably turned into bronchitis or pneumonia. This was NOT a result of any particularly virulent virus but a weakening of my respiratory system as a whole, being in a closed house with the pollution from up to a hundred or more cigarettes a day. I also suffered extremely painful ear infections as a child and to this day have to cry into a pillow every time I fly in an airplane as it descends. From all those infections I became severely allergic or immune to almost all antibiotics (try playing as a kid, knowing if you get dirt in a cut or a scrape it ‘could’ kill you). I have allergy induced asthma that except for moulds, is entirely restricted to man-made chemicals, scents and dyes, no other naturally occurring allergens bother me. There is other stuff health wise I have suffered, but that gives you an idea of some of the key debilitating childhood ones .

As a smoker you have no right to put my health at risk for your useless addiction. Let me repeat that a different way: THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOT A SINGLE REDEEMING OR BENEFICIAL EFFECT RELATED TO THE SMOKING OF CIGARETTES. IT IS SIMPLY AN ADDICTION TO NICOTINE AND ONE OR MORE OF OVER 40 MAN MADE HIGHLY ADDICTIVE AND DEATHLY POISONOUS CHEMICALS ADDED BY TOBACCO MANUFACTURERS TO “ENHANCE TASTE” – a simple euphemism meaning to ensure you stay addicted and continue lining their pockets until you are dead. You’re simply a stupid fuck if you smoke.

Cigarette smoke kills. Simple as that. Corporate duplicity, supported, nay encouraged, by government (revenue departments and the military especially), all in the name of shareholder and corporate executive profit. Why IS that? There has never been a single individual anywhere in the history of the world who’s physical or mental health has ever required them to inhale even a single puff of cigarette smoke to live. NEVER. Simply put, the answer is and always has been: GREED.

Next: Cigarette smoke is NOT simply an unpleasant odour, or a bad smell. It is particulate matter loaded with multiple allergens and deadly carcinogens. It is as bad or worse than most air pollutants known to man, short of instant killing gasses like chlorine or sulphuric emissions. And a single cigarette can pollute a wide area. Case in point: The little house on the large yard with lots of mature trees next to the building I live in was torn down and all the trees ripped out to make the way for three town homes. Two of the three are now occupied by smokers, the nearest patio to me being over 45′ away (ground floor across a small yard), the other ‘smoke spot’ being over 65′ away (front porch, also ground floor). My apt is on the top (2nd) floor across a wide driveway a high fence to both yards as well. Yet EACH time anyone from either abode goes out for a smoke I have to race to close both my bedroom’s windows or risk having to go to the hospital. The smoke always rising and entering my suite, reeking it up and delivering me lung ripping coughing fits.

The worst is on hot nights when my ‘neighbours’ cannot make it until morning to feed their addiction and go out for a smoke in the wee hours. Inevitably I wake up coughing great gouts of fluid out of my lungs for up to an hour or more, barely getting time to take a breath between each fit. Often I end up bursting blood vessels in my nose, throat or lungs, my coughs rip through me that violently (I’ve actually torn muscles in my back). I pray for a moment’s pause so I can try to use my inhaler, and hope all the smoke residue is dilute enough not to trigger another episode. I then must carefully re-hydrate my body, trying to swallow past raw throat membranes. I then have to change all my bedding (while dizzy) or risk even more coughing. One cigarette, that’s all it takes to put me in agony for hours. ALL BECAUSE ONE STUPID FUCKER IS ADDICTED TO A DEADLY BUT ‘LEGAL’ PRODUCT THAT KILLS INDICRIMINANTLY BUT MAKES SOME KEY PEOPLE IN INDUSTRY AND GOVERNMENT A LOT OF MONEY YET HAS ABSOULUTELY NO BENEFIT TO THE USER.

I am very fortunate to live in a province that has one of the lowest smoking rates in the world and in a city that has some of the broadest anti-smoking regulations (enforced) and yet one in five adults, a full 20% of the population over age 18 still has the ability to kill me, simply by engaging in a non-violent, legally sanctioned, passive activity ONCE. Well FUCK YOU! Quit. Don’t ever start. The odds of someone STARTING smoking at age 18 (the legal age to purchase cigarettes locally) is low, is minimal by age 21 and older than age 24 has rarely been documented. Also, the older one is when they start, the sooner they try to quit, and the more successful they are at quitting. Telling, huh. But cigarette manufacturers have NEVER targeted youths with their advertising. Right.

One personal example of the primary benefit of quiting, no matter HOW old you are, or how much you have smoked: My Dad. He started smoking when he was 15 years old, thanks to the Canadian Navy and the nearly 100% smoking rate amongst enlisted military personnel due to the cigarette manufactures giving massive discounts to ‘our boys’. Yeah, great favour they were doing. Boredom and peer pressure being the two greatest tools they had for addicting an entire generation, ensuring no-one questioned the health hazards with OUTRIGHT LIES concerning the HARMLESSNESS OF SMOKING. Truism I firmly believe in: Tobacco executives = Evil incarnate.

To continue with my Dad: He smoked one to two packs a day, every day until he was 57 years old. Even at only a pack a day, that is over 300,000 cigarettes, not counting all the smoke he inhaled from those around him. He worked on the fire department for 27 of those years, where every single one of his co-workers was at least a pack a day smoker. AND he worked in an era where the fire department used unsafe chemicals and inferior respiratory equipment, especially when fighting industrial, military or airport fires (his main postings). I ended up moving in with him a less than a year after my parents split and in under two weeks had him agree to quit cold turkey. And he did (to this day I still have no idea how he accomplished that). I was 14. That winter I got a few, small, normal colds. That was it, no bronchitis, no pneumonia, nothing else (even made the track team in the spring). Today my Dad is 84. He has outlived all his friends, relatives (except my Mom), peers and co-workers who were smokers by at least 17 years. That’s right, not a single one other than my mom (who didn’t quit until she was in her sixties and turns 75 this year), lived past the age of 67. HE was STILL golfing three days a week until he was 78. Tells you something, doesn’t it?

A last personal note: I have a skin condition (psoriasis), directly attributable to cigarette smoking as a trigger, that flares unsightly when I come in contact with the particulate matter and chemicals present in cigarette smoke. It is a chronic but benign condition, not contagious in any way, just looks awful (bright red patches, that the skin eventually flakes off of). Started when I was 13. Try going through puberty, and then university with that. Unable to go to any bars, nightclubs or strip joints with friends, both because you couldn’t breathe in them, but also because of what my skin would look like for days or sometimes weeks afterwards. Swimming in the ocean was fine, but at any local pools, the chlorine would act the same way on my skin, so that social activity was out too. ALL BECAUSE SOME STUPID FUCKING CORPORATE EXECUTIVE GROUP COULD MAKE A KILLING (LITERALLY IT TURNED OUT) BY PRODUCING A HIGHLY ADDICTIVE CONSUMER ‘GOOD’ THAT THEY WERE ABLE TO SELL FOR EXTREME PROFITS DUE TO THE GUARANTEED DEMAND, USING MUCH OF THAT PROFIT TO ‘BENEFIT’ INDIVIDUALS IN GOVERNMENT AS WELL, SO THEY COULD BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE SELLING (AND MAKING OBSCENE PROFITS) FROM THE MOST PREVENTABLE DEATH PRODUCT IN HISTORY.

And I won’t even begin to go into the ash and litter pollution from all those (tens of?) BILLIONS of cigarettes smoked EACH DAY around the world. I think that’s about it for me on this topic today. Thank-you all for listening.

Oh, and one last thing, and probably the MOST important: GET OFF THE FUCKING PHONE!!!!!!! Ooops, seems a bit of my driving rant spilled over into this one, sorry 😉

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Responses

  1. So what’s this have to do with driving…lol..
    Seriously, I hear ya, though with a little more compassionate ears. I never smoked, grew up with smokers, my wife has some of the same cause and effect illnesses that you describe. I guess I can understand the anger and rant aimed at the corporate daemons, but the profanity towards the addicted victims seems a wee harsh, though I understand it at the same time. You’ve made many good points here, and I look forward to the responses from the smokies.
    Peace and hugs,

  2. Well then, God forbid I ever end up in your neck of the woods, should you turn into alligator man due to my chain smoking.
    All of the points you hit on were 100% perfecto IMO, excellent rant. Almost makes me feel bad when I blow ciggy smoke in Slicks face.

  3. Excellent rant. I have smoked off and on at various points in my life but don’t right now. I’m trying to get my husband to quit, but not too seriously right now since he’s out of work and the last thing he needs right now is more stress. But anyway, you raise excellent points – some things I hadn’t even thought of before. The husband is a pretty considerate smoker but maybe there are some things he could do to be even more considerate.

    I feel for you about the skin thing – I’ve got eczema which is kind of like psoriasis, so I can sympathize about the pool thing. Nasty stuff.

  4. Sorry, Books, but imagine how you’d feel if a whole bunch of people, by their own choice were randomly shooting guns off, in your neighborhood, everywhere you went, each time you tried to get in an out of a building, not knowing if you would be missed, grazed, hit or killed by one of the bullets. That’s what it’s like for me.

    I put this in the same class as drinking and driving – the decision to drink and drive is made before you ever have your first drink. I don’t know of any kid in N.A. these days that DOESN’T know smoking is ‘bad for you’, yet thousands CHOOSE to start smoking each day. That gives me the right to blame the ‘victim’.

  5. Hey AB. Yeah, maybe you could ease up on him a little. You’d do yourself a huge favour if you quit altogether though, I can give you as many links as you want to encourage that , if you ever decide your long term health is worth it.

    Thanks TR. I used to think there could be such a thing as a courteous smoker, but my patience is completely gone on that count. There is just no way for a smoker NOT to pollute the air around them, and sometimes for great distances. In the long run you’ll both be much better of if he can convince himself to quit.

  6. Hey dipshit.
    I honored you with an award. 🙂

  7. This ‘dipshit’ thanks you.

  8. Um, I kind of honored you with an award, too, but it’s a nice one.

  9. Fantastic rant, Arkay! I couldn’t have written it better myself.


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