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Alcohol vs. nicotine

A few points to consider

By Conny ManeroPublished 12 months ago 5 min read
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

I didn’t think I’d live to see the day I’d say this, but here it goes … I’m offended. Well, yes, you know how it goes, these days everyone is offended by something. Whether it’s a woman in sexy clothing, an English expression, or wishing someone Merry Christmas, one fool or another will shout that he/she is offended.Me, I didn’t think I would be offended by anything, but I was wrong, I’m offended too by the way smokers are treated. In Canada, smoker bashing has become something of a national sport and in general, smokers are taking it lying down. Well, not me, I want to get a few things off my chest.

Yesterday, I was standing outside Kennedy Bowl bowling alley having a smoke, waiting for the league to start, when a female member of another league approached. Her nose and mouth were buried deep into her jacket and as she passed me she said “Smoking is disgusting.” I laughed it off, but I wish I’d been allowed to grab her by the scruff of her neck and point out a few things.

First of all, it’s not the first time this has happened, someone making a comment about smoking, or faking a cough, and it’s always women who make a fuss over smoking. Never ever, in my experience, has a man made such a comment.Imagine if I went around insulting people. Imagine every time I saw someone with a drink in their hands I’d say “Alcohol is disgusting” or every time I saw an overweight person with a burger, a hot dog, or a pizza I’d say “Junk food is disgusting”. Insulting people is generally not acceptable and is often classified as verbal abuse. Yet it’s perfectly acceptable verbally abuse a smoker.

Everyone, young or old, healthy and sick, is allowed to drink without anyone batting an eyelid, and everyone even the overweight or downright obese people are allowed to eat junk food without any criticism. Yet, let’s have a look at the dangers of alcohol.Alcohol is the leading cause of LIVER CANCER, not to mention that alcohol causes high blood pressure leading to heart attack and stroke.Not to mention that every day people under the influence of alcohol get into their cars and cause accidents. Some of those accidents cause only minor injuries, while others are so severe that victims are left paralyzed, lose limbs, or even lose their lives.

To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever caused an accident under the influence of nicotine. Then as I said, there’s the junk food. According to obesity statistics … At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. In addition,44% of the diabetes burden, 23% of the ischaemic heart disease burden and between 7% and 41% of certain cancer burdens are attributable to being overweight and obesity.

And this is another thing that bothers me. No smoker will tell another person “Have a smoke, I insist, here have one.” No smoker does this. Yet, alcohol drinkers do this all the time. When someone wants to leave a gathering one drinker will say to another, “Have another one” or “It’s too early to leave, have one on me,” or something to that effect. Some of these drunks then go home and abuse their partner, their kids, and/or their pets.

Authors don’t help in that regard. In every book I’ve read or listened to, the characters guzzle alcohol like there’s no tomorrow. They start with a glass of wine or champagne and before long they’re on their third bottle. They pour gin and tonics down their throats like it is water. Whether it’s morning, noon, or night, they serve up whiskey, brandy, or vodka. I once read a book where a family won the lottery and where the woman drank 76 bottles of wine, 10 bottles of champagne and 12 bottles of gin and tonic in a month. In one month I tell you.

Some might say that smoking is unhealthy as is secondhand smoke. Oh please, give me a break. When I was growing up both my parents and their friends smoked. They all lived to be in their 80s or even 90s. When I was older and started dating, I went to clubs where the places were thick with smoke. Doctors and nurses smoked, and nobody gave a peep of a complaint.

My generation, and generations before mine, grew up to be strong adults who lived long lives and were hardly ever sick. Yet, look at today’s young people, if there’s a gush of wind, they keel over. They suffer from this, that, or the other. In other words, they are wimps who can't take anything.

What also bothers me is how airline companies treat smokers. Smoking is not allowed in airports and is not allowed on airplanes. This while some flights take as long as 7, 10 or even 14 hours. Since smoking is an addiction, smokers suffer. Yet, those who like to drink can indulge in alcohol as they please. Airlines offer beer, wine, champagne or even something stronger. Drug addicts don’t have to do without their fix either. They can bring their drugs on board and nobody minds.

Hell, in Canada marijuana is now freely available and marijuana shops are popping up like mushrooms. Doesn’t anyone see the danger in that? People can get into their cars under the influence of marijuana. Just imagine the builders of your house being under the influence. The man or woman who installs your electricity being high. The crane man helping to erect a building being high. The driver of a bus. Anyone at any time can be under the influence of weed. Isn’t anyone going to shout “Smoking/chewing marijuana is disgusting.”

Maybe we can blame the government for this. Smoking politicians might be a minority, but they definitely drink and they definitely use drugs.

Do you still think smoking is a danger to one’s health? So is driving, yet millions of people get into their cars every day and drive to their destinations. Some will get there, some instead will end up in the hospital or in the morgue. Millions will stuff themselves with junk food, clogging their arteries, and risking a heart attack or stroke. Come to think of it, anyone setting foot outside their home is in danger of getting injured or killed. There could be a shooting, there could be a knife attack, there could be an explosion, a falling object, a car losing control … see where I’m getting at? Hell, some people get killed at home.

So stop the smokers bashing. They are people too. Let them do what they want, you do what you want, don’t you?

As a final thought ... if smoking indeed causes lung cancer, why don't all smokers develop lung cancer and why do people who never smoked get lung cancer? And if lung cancer is related to smoking, what causes breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer? Something to think about wouldn't you say?      


About the Creator

Conny Manero

Conny is the author of Waiting for Silverbird, Voice of an Angel, Lily, Kitten Diaries and Debbie. Contributor to various hard copy and online publications.

She lives in Toronto with her son and cats.

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