I would like to take this opportunity to discuss what is NOT harmful about smoking. Many people only talk about the negative aspects of smoking, however, there are far worse habits. Take for instance, the number one killer in the U.S. is heart disease. The number one contributor to heart disease is obesity. Where are all the health taxes and crusades against Trans and Saturated Fats?! I want all Big Mac's OUTLAWED!
So the Surgeon General warns that smoking may kill? News flash: Non-Smokers die everday.
Much is said about all the carcinogens and harmful chemicals that make up a cigarette. What they neglect to tell you is that many of those same chemicals and carcinogens can be found in peppers, carrots, strawberries, tomatoes, onions and grapefruit.
What about the health benefits of smoking? Believe it or not, there are some. Nicotine is actually "a suprisingly potent drug for a variety of diseases that afflict the brain, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Tourrette's syndrome." (An image makeover for nicotine: It shows promise against brain diseases, HealthCentral.com - Feb. 21, 2000) Smokers have a 60% lower risk of Parkinson's disease. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Nicotine also has positive effect on ulcerative colitis, which is inflammation of the stomach lining, and this disorder affects nonsmokers more than smokers.
Another problem in this equation is the invention of alcohol. I can't give the exact timeline alcohol was invented, but I'm sure it was a long time ago. That being said, alcohol is as harmful, possibly more harmful than cigarettes. A half bottle of wine contains 40 times the amount of lead that a pack of cigarettes has. The only way I see that as being beneficial is to keep Superman from seeing your organs. Other than that, BAD.
People also complain about 2nd Hand Smoke. Studies have shown that prolonged contact (as in several years) with second hand smoking can cause mild lung problems. Second hand smoke has no immediate harmful effects. So basically what I take from that is, unless you spend every day, all day, for years in a smokey bar or restaurant, you have NOTHING to worry about! Maybe they should worry more about farting in restaurants, as methane is a bigger problem than cigarette smoke. Just ask Al Gore.
A single drive to work puts out more deadly fumes and toxins in the air, than a smoker could possibly do in one year. If you drive a car, your car puts out more deadly poisons and toxins in one drive to work than my smoking does in one year. When you go home again, that's another year. So in a couple months, you've created more deadly toxins in the enviroment than my smoking will in a lifetime. But it's always easier to point fingers at other people, isn't it?
If you are really concerned about your health, then put your money where your mouth is. Stop buying products that are painted (all kinds of toxins put into the enviroment) or made of plastic (here's some stuff that's good for your health, right?) and stop driving a car. You can survive that way - a lot of people do it. But I'll bet you don't want to give up the conveniences these things offer.
I'm really tired of hearing people complain about the health risks that smokers present to them when they aren't willing to make changes to their own lifestyle that WOULD AFFECT THEM MORE than having any number of smokers quit.
Peace to all!