Tuesday, November 16, 2010

FDA to require graphic warnings on cigarette packages, ads


Clearly, I gotta chime in here...  I've tried getting through the above article like five times.  The first time was right when it came out last week and since then I've looked at it and then had to look away out of frustration.  I finally was able to sift through half of it and then finished it this morning.

I'm going to commit to a general point of view here that as a non-smoking advocate may seem contradictory but honestly, I just don't get it.

Seriously, it's 2010.  If you legitimately do not know that smoking is bad for you in this day and age, I'm sorry, but you deserve whatever comes your way.  How can you not know smoking is bad for you?

Maybe because the people who make the decision to smoke are fully aware of the dangers, consequesces and the risk and for whatever reason, be it addiction, self-loathing, or a little bit of both, decide to do it anyway...

This article goes on to claim that daily 4000 young people try smoking and 1000 of them continue to smoke.  Here's the exact quote, "Every day, 4,000 young people try cigarettes for the first time and 1,000 continue to smoke."

One key word is left out of that equation.  Decide.  Smoking is a decision.   According to the article that means 365,000 "young people" take on the habit of smoking.  According to the CDC, smoking can be related to 1 in 5 deaths annually.  393,600 full time smokers die each year. Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.  However, when you do the math there's 28,600 more people dying from it than starting it.  Darwinism will eventually solve this problem.  Cruel?  Maybe.  True?  Yes.

So yes, smoking is a bad thing.  But...  C'mon people.  Don't you already know this?  If you're still puffing away at this point, is a picture of a diseased lung or some cat smoking through his trachea really going to change your mind?  I say no.  I say the only person, place or thing that is going to change the mind of the smoker is the mind of the smoker.

Many an addict will not stop shooting smack simply because he/she see's the effects of the drug on someone else.  An addict is simply that, an addict and they are the only one who can actually stop.  Notice I don't say quit.  Quitting is an impossible act for the addict if you ask me.

The American Heart and Lung Association state that "Pharmacological and behavioral characteristics that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine."

So first off, if tobacco is that strong, why is it even legal?  Secondly, this mean that these 365,000 new smokers aren't just smokers, but addicts with a physical addiction as strong as junk and blow.  

So....  what's the plan?  As a government institution in the United States of America, let's tell an independent company how to package their product in a way that could drastically reduce sales and consequently close their business.  OK, so as Americans we can look the other way (for now) because smoking is bad.  But what happens when this logic gets plugged into video games, music, food?  Let's not set a precedent here.  Not to sound too paranoid (I'll go through an X-Ray at the airport and as long as they're gentle, I'm OK getting my junk brushed for the common good) but keep in mind, there are some civil liberties involved.  

Well so perhaps potential non addicts will get scared off so that's a good thing but what are we doing to address the root causes and issues of smoking addiction.  You can't communicate rationally with an addict.  They're addicted!  There's a chemical imbalance in their brain that is so strong they actually decide to over look the facts and do it anyway.

I know I did.  From 1991 to 2002 I looked the other way and enjoyed every single puff.  Why did I smoke?  Well for that you can read the book.  Same on how I stopped.  Excuse the shameless plug, but the bottom line here is that smoking is a choice.  Every time someone lights up it's a decision.  So how do we communicate to addicts?  

Parent's who smoke?  I say pass a law that puts smoking as a parent in the same category as abuse or neglect.  Sorry but if you smoke and have kids and then smoke in front of your kids, you're an asshole.  How can you do that?  I know how...  addiction!  Addiction is not logical and causes irrational behavior like putting known carcinogens in the direct path of your own flesh and blood!  What the *%$# is a picture of a black and brown lung sitting on the Camel's hump going to do to make that person quit?

Logic will not do the trick.  If you read my book you'll notice that I don't throw a bunch of facts and figures at the potential non-addict.  I show them how I did it and how they can too.  You decided to start smoking, now decide to stop smoking.  Here's How.  That's it.  Peanut Gallery's open...