Monday, November 07, 2005

kicking butts

ABC World News Tonight is running a month long feature about smoking called "Quit to Live." If you've missed any installments so far, you can catch up at their website. The facts and figures are troubling. There are still 50 million smokers in America. Each day 2000 teenagers pick up the disgusting habit.

I heard a comedian say that anyone who smokes nowadays is either stubborn, stupid or French. It's understandable that there are people over the age of 40 unable to kick the addiction. They probably started smoking when it was permitted in high schools. But why on earth would anyone in their teens or twenties start down the path to lung cancer?

Each November, the American Cancer Society promotes the Great American Smokeout. It's always on the Thursday before Thanksgiving. If you know a smoker, urge them to try giving up the smokes for just that day.

Although I would describe myself as not just a non-smoker but an anti-smoker, I do believe that smokers should have the right to smoke themselves silly in the privacy of their own homes. But I also believe that I have the right to go out in public and not smell their fetid smoke while I'm trying to eat. That's why I prefer smoke-free restaurants like Connors Steak & Seafood. (Speaking of smoke-free restaurants, UCSF publishes a great website about the techniques used by the tobacco industry to fight smoking bans.)

The putrid stench contains some of the same foul-smelling chemicals as rat poison and nail polish remover. The smoke wouldn't bother me so much if it smelled better. Why can't they make cigarettes with the aroma of hickory or mesquite BBQ?

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