I Don’t Hate Smokers

I know I say a lot of bad things about smoking, but I bear absolutely no ill-will or judgment towards smokers.

While it’s true that secondhand smoke kills, which makes many non-smokers resent those who do use tobacco, I don’t believe you can blame it all on the tobacco user. The argument can be made that they “made the choice” to start smoking, which is true, but that choice was heavily influenced by Big Tobacco.

Look at all the cigarette advertisements. They glorify smoking as a very cool, elegant, luxurious activity. This type of tactic is true of all advertisements, but it’s especially effective with a product like cigarettes. And let’s not forget the old, thankfully banned advertisement methods of tobacco companies: Putting cigarettes into comics, cartoons, movies, television… Everywhere you looked, someone was pushing cigarettes. This was especially effective because it targeted the “next generation” of smokers with its colorful mascots and cigarette-puffing heroes.

And let’s not forget that tobacco companies designed cigarettes specifically to be addictive and habit-forming. You can become addicted to just about anything (curse you, Oreos!) but cigarettes are chemically designed to make your body physically rely on them. I’m by no means a viceless guy, but I strongly believe that engaging in any vice should be an informed, conscious decision, NOT an innate need or craving that you can’t deny.

So, please do not mistake my ravings as an attack on smokers. In a perfect world, anyone who smoked could simply decide to stop and leave it at that. Since that isn’t the case, we have to invent products and methods just to help us stop doing what should be a voluntary action.

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