Why smoke?

This post is a follow up to “Why drink?“.

I’ve posted about smoking tobacco cigarettes before, criticizing the authoritarian nature of anti-smoking crusades, and while people have the right to smoke if they choose, I want to voice my reasons for why I don’t smoke.

  • It’s obviously bad for you and damages the body: I can’t believe some people ignore this. Smoking damages the body slowly, you start with a mild rattling cough and get worse from there. Eventually, the addict will find it harder and harder to breathe until every breath becomes a form of torture. Come to think of it, I seriously people might start using cigarettes as a torture device. It’d certainly work. Not to mention, cigarettes will eventually kill you, mainly through lung cancer, which has a high chance of killing you. Also, did you know that just one cigarette can immediately increase blood pressure and decrease circulation to your extremities? With that in mind, try imagining what a whole pack of cigarettes could do. Hell, if you’re a smoker, imagine the effect of however many cigarettes you smoke each day.
  • It’s dangerously addictive: When you smoke, trying to quit is one of the hardest things you can do. Trying to quit makes people go crazy and tense, which is a result of the nicotine and the addiction to it. Some even say that quitting cigarettes is harder than quitting heroine or cocaine.
  • It doesn’t actually relieve stress: It may seem that smoking calms you down and relieves stress, but here’s the thing: it’s not actually relieving stress. What’s actually going on is that, as you become addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes, your body begins to believe it needs cigarettes when, in reality, it doesn’t. Additionally, this makes you feel more tense when you’re not smoking, and that’s how the cigarettes “relieve” the stress. Cigarettes in themselves don’t relax you at all. They trick your body into believing it needs tobacco by causing tension in the body.
  • It ruins the air for everyone else, especially non-smokers: One of the major reasons I hate cigarettes is that when I go to town, there’s probably a few people who smoke, and it makes the air really bad. Every time I take the trip to town for college or other reason, I worry I might have swallowed or breathed in someone’s tobacco smoke, which is a horrible feeling. They leave a horrible taste too, and a horrible feeling in your throat. I even have friends in college who smoke. I don’t try to put them don’t for it, but when I outside with them, I find it hard as a non-smoker to get close and chat and have to find somewhere were I don’t smell tobacco. Not to mention second-hand smoke.
  • It kills brain cells, and other body cells: If you thought only drinking could kill brain cells, you were wrong. Smoking kills brain cells because you are inhaling and taking in carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, which replaces normal oxygen in the air, and with less oxygen, the cells in your body start dying, including brain cells, muscle cells, and skin cells. You know what, something about this baffles me. Why do people ignore the fact that when you smoke you inhale carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, and that this kills you? Why?
  • It makes your body age faster: It has been shown that cells exposed to tobacco smoke produce more of the enzyme responsible for breaking down skin. The reason skin can stay young and healthy is because it has the ability to regenerate itself constantly, however, this process depends on a subtle balance between breaking down old skin and creating fresh new replacement tissue. When you smoke, the body produces more of the cells that break down the skin than cells that replace it, and that’s what causes the aging process. Besides, I never want to age faster.
  • Cigarettes contain tons of toxic ingredients: The average cigarette contains not just tobacco and nicotine, but tar, arsenic, benzene, cadmium, formaldehyde, polonium-210, chromium, 1, 3-butadine, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrosamines, acroline, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, and many more poisons and chemicals. These chemicals can interfere with body’s ability to repair DNA and prevent DNA repair (which in turn makes the effect of chemicals worse), damage DNA, increase the risk of cancer, damage the heart and its blood vessels, ruin your teeth, lungs, and fingers, damage kidneys and arteries, overload the proteins in the body designed to mop up bad chemicals, cause diseases in the lungs and airways, can directly damage p53, a gene that normally protects our bodies against cancer, kill the hairs that normally clean our lungs, and lower the body’s ability to transport oxygen, thus depriving the tissues and organs of oxygen.
  • It makes you smell horrible: Have you ever smelt the smell of tobacco coming off of someone? Not that nice.

And finally…

  • The reasons for smoking are lies: Do you thinking smoking makes you look sexy? It doesn’t. How can it if it turns you into a withering hag? The tobacco companies may want you thinking it makes you sexy, but it doesn’t. Even if it looks glamorous now, you’ll get deeper wrinkles and yellow teeth, and not to mention weaker bones. And by the way, I wouldn’t want to kiss someone who smokes. It’s not that nice. Do you think smoking makes you cool? I don’t think so. Even if it seems cool now, trust me, it won’t be.  Do you think it can help you lose weight or stay slim? It doesn’t. Do you think it makes you look more “adult”? The only reason that will ever be true is because you have been made to believe it does. Do you think it relieves stress? It doesn’t. The only reason it might is because once you start smoking your body tricks you into thinking you need it by being tense when you’re not smoking. The reality is that, much like drinking alcohol, the only reason you would smoke is because of peer pressure, because of ideas that people have brainwashed you with, or because you’re addicted and can’t stop. There are literally no good reasons to smoke.

Now that you know all this, do you want to smoke cigarettes, or quit if you’re already smoking? In the end, it is up to you to decide whether you smoke or not. Banning smoke or disregarding the free will of people who either smoke or may choose to smoke would do nothing. It is your choice, and remember to decide based on your own choice, not what someone else thinks.

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