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Tobacco

I smoked cigarettes for about 12 years. I was addicted. I was able to quit after several tries. I did used to sneak one every once in a while, but I haven't now for a good 3 years.

I have no doubt that if I would not have quit smoking that I would have contracted emphysema or cancer, my blood pressure would have continued to rise, and who knows what other health problems would have ensued. Thousands of dollars in health care costs most likely would follow. You know the story. Who knows how many others I harmed with my 2nd hand smoke. How many others I annoyed by lighting up in a restaurant. How many others went home reeking of smoke because of me.

I realize that in our nation we have freedom to do as we wish in most cases.

With freedom comes responsibility. To me, part of being a decent, contributing member of society is to do what I can to make the world a better place, through my actions, how I treat others, the life I lead and the examples I give to my family. I'm so proud that I don't have to explain a tobacco habit to my kids, I can proudly tell them "I'm done with that." When they ask why people smoke, I tell them the reasons I smoked. To look cool. Because it's what everyone around me did. It was difficult to stop.

Given that so many people struggle with it, so many millions of dollars are wasted on heath issues that didn't have to happen, not to mention personal income lost, any glorification or rationalization of tobacco use leaves me with a very sour feeling in my gut.

I don't see it as "gentlemanly" - I don't see it as "one of the finer things of life." If a behavior is disgusting to the people around you, If you have to hide to do it, any justification rings hollow. You nonsmokers know how nice it is to be able to go in a restaurant or club without leaving smelling like an ashtray.

I see it as a crutch. I see it as a habit that's irresponsible to the greater community. That's just my opinion. I don't think any amount of rationalization that take away that fact that it's a non-essential and addictive behavior that wastes billions of dollars.

That being said, again, we have freedom. For the most part, we can spend our money as we wish. We can buy and smoke a pack of Lucky Strikes, suck down a Budweiser or bottle of Jack, chomp on a couple Whoppers or Big Macs, eat a bag of Doritos, maybe a box of donuts before passing out on the couch. And I know a large part of our economy is based on making sure people keep on doing just those things. "Greater good" be damned.

But where is the line between personal freedom and responsibility? Sure, maybe your pipe or cigar or snus is fine and dandy. Maybe you won't have any health repercussions. Or maybe you will. I realize that among the crowd on this board, legistating behavior would be as popular as a can of Edge and a Fusion. Do we outlaw all "risky" behaviors? I'm not for that. We'd end up living in boxes, fed through tubes with no freedom at all.

I don't want your choices taken away. But just consider how your choices resonate beyond the realm of your "personal luxury."
 
Mason,

I smoke about 3 cigars a year, never near young relations and always outside with other consenting adults, so I don't feel bad about health or role model issues.

On the other hand because I do it so rarely I usually smoke Cubans, and I am starting to wonder if my habit is helping to fund an unpleasant, tyrannical regime which lives in luxury whilst most of its citizens are in poverty.
 
I, upon occasion enjoy a cigar, or a pipe.(once every two months or so)
However, I enjoy it in solitude, removed from the general public. Not hiding, just taking some personal "alone" time.
 
As someone who used to smoke 2 packs a day for quite a few years, when I quit I did not want to be one of those ex-smokers who felt that because I didn't smoke, you didn't have a right to smoke.
The anti-smoking campaign has gotten out of hand. It has become a form of government intrusion into a persons personal life. You don't see government trying to control a person's sexual orientation do you? Supposedly that doesn't affect anybody. Tell that to someone who has lost a spouse or a significant other to someone else of the same sex. Very bad emotionally.
But as to smoking, people have a right to smoke, allowances should be made. Smoking lounges in "public places" should be allowed. Smoking sections in restaurants and bars of course. I always hated it when some ex-smoker would deliberately sit in the smoking section of a restaurant and the complain about people smoking. There are people trying to pass laws making it illegal to smoke in one's car while driving.
I've seen companies try to ban smoking in your car in the company parking lot. But that is problematic for the company that does it. Oft times company policy is that the company isn't responsible for the employees' cars in the parking lot. Say if something is stolen in the car or the car itself is stolen. They don't want to be held responsible for the theft. Some companies have found out the hard way that if they try to impose a non-smoking policy in a personal car in the parking lot, then they could be legally held responsible for any theft or damage said cars.
Then there are other people trying to pass laws to stop smoking around children. How would that affect parents who smoke? Would Child Protective Services intervene and take any children away because the parents smoked?
A lot of this is just a case of people wanting to impose their personal beliefs on other people by way of the government. And many governments, state and local are eager to jump on the bandwagon. After all fines can be imposed and collected or if the offending person can't pay the fines then property can be confiscated to pay the fines. It's a win-win for Big Brother.
 
No one is going to get cancer or upset the balance of the universe by enjoying a cigar every once in a while. My screed was a little over the top at times. If anyone felt like I was trying to demonize them, I apologize. That in itself, is ungentlemanly. However, if your tobacco habit is wrecking your health and finances, you should definitely get help to quit. As I clearly stated, I'm not for taking anyone's choice away. I just wanted to inject a different POV.
 
No one is going to get cancer or upset the balance of the universe by enjoying a cigar every once in a while. My screed was a little over the top at times. If anyone felt like I was trying to demonize them, I apologize. That in itself, is ungentlemanly. However, if your tobacco habit is wrecking your health and finances, you should definitely get help to quit. As I clearly stated, I'm not for taking anyone's choice away. I just wanted to inject a different POV.

LOL, no, that was not ungentlemanly.:wink:
Demonize cigarettes all you want though. :001_tongu
 
Another thought. I once did drugs. But, we were "better" than those other people who did drugs because we could keep our lives together, hold down jobs, etc.. (hehe, looking back, what a joke), but nonetheless..

We were not the people in the gutter or doing tricks to pay for drugs. We were better than that. Or were we. The drugs came from the same places, made the same people rich and enabled them to sell more drugs to other people who might gotten very sick or even have killed or been killed because of .. drugs.

We might have thought ourselves "apart" from all bad drug stuff, but we were definitely part of the "culture"

Similarly, there's a "tobacco culture." At some point, you're part of that culture, right alongside the slobs smoking 4 packs a day, with a house full of crying, wheezing kids, and riding the cancer express at top speed.
 
I generally hate tobacco with a passion; I think cigarettes were a big contributing factor to my father's death at a very young age.

I will confess to having hypocritically smoked a cigar occasionally, maybe one very year or two, and rationalizing it by telling myself that the health risks from such infrequent smoking are negligible (which they probably, in fact, are). Now that I'm thinking about it, I feel like a schmuck for even doing that.
 
I hope I didn't come off as an ***. Wasn't my intent. I'm disappointed when I see young men and women smoke. I know what it can do to a person's health. I also know how cigarette companies researched ways to make smoking more addictive. Think Marlboro. They washed the tobacco in chlorine which gave the smoker a bigger kick of nicotine. A bigger rush if you will. At the same time I'm seriously tired of people trying to force their personal beliefs on society. While they may not be part of an organized religion, they push those beliefs with a religious fervor they don't allow practicing christians to do.
 
Similarly, there's a "tobacco culture." At some point, you're part of that culture, right alongside the slobs smoking 4 packs a day, with a house full of crying, wheezing kids, and riding the cancer express at top speed.

At what point though? To make an analogy, does me enjoying a barleywine twice a week after dinner put me in the same "alcohol culture" as the bums for whom a 40 is dinner? I hardly think so. I am not promoting tobacco use. But I think there is a wide gulf between my father who smoked three cigars a year and my great-aunt who died of emphazema. Substances like alcohol and tobacco have been around for thousands of years. People use them to relax, to socialize, to self-medicate. It is only in the past few centuries that we as a culture have considered them vices. But really they are only vices when used in an unbalanced manner that leads to disruption of life and health.
 
Just curious Mason, what prompted this thread? Was it out of a moment of deep introspection, or was it from the influx of tobacco-themed Gentlemen's Essentials articles over in the Speakeasy? :001_tongu
 
Hi Mason:

A well-written and thoughtful thread. I will admit right up front that I am a pipe and occasional cigar smoker but I am going to try to stay objective. I have had this discussion many times with different people, almost always with very interesting results. It is worth mentioning for the chuckle that the single most unusual result was when the city here was introducing the smoking bylaw and a fellow I know took it upon himself to dance around in the bar, chanting "we're gonna win, we're gonna win", like a five year old. What he won was being ejected rather forcefully from the bar in question.

Yes, tobacco is bad for you. No question. No, you should not ever tell anyone (and I am aiming this squarely at the advertising industry and at any other special interest group) that your way of life is somehow more glamorous, desirable, sexy or anything other than your way of doing things. Ever. This, by the way, means (to me, all of this is my POV) that you must include people who choose to live in polluted cities without appropriate ameliorating gear, people who subject their bodies to thing like Atkins (yes, I am naming it, having now been thoroughly linked to renal issues), people who insist on working way more hours than their body and/or mind can take ). . . well, you get where this is heading. All of the above is "bad" for you. Should it be controlled? Where does this end?

What people do not want to realize is that our entire culture (Canada, USA), is a bit poisoned. You "must" be skinny, you "must" have expensive 'stuff', you "must" work 80 hours a week, you "must" live in a 'sexy' city and so on.

What people refuse to understand can be summed up (to me) in a couple of "trite but true" statements I've heard over the years:

"Eat well, don't smoke, don't drink, get lots of sleep, exercise daily and die anyway." - Michael Warnke - Christian comedian.

"You have to realize that all these extra years come at the end, when you are not exactly at the peak of your powers. It is not like you get bonus years in the middle." - John Higgins- hobby store owner: age about 93 at the time.

I would always honour your desires to not be included in my tobacco smoke. All I would ask in return is that you do not force your life choices on me.

Regards,

- John
 
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Sue

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I started smoking before I had my drivers license. I remember that day clearly; a bunch of us yourg teens were waiting in line for the upteenth time to ride the roller coaster. My friends were all older and it was so cool and sophisticated. I'm sure I looked pretty stupid, a scrawmy girl in a pony tail coughing up a lung trying to inhale like my smart and cool older friends.

I smoked forever. I finally quit about ten years ago. The inflammatory illness I have went into my lungs because I quit. I ended up in the ER unable to breathe and hospitalized. (I don't recommend suffocation as a way to check out.) Was pumped full of IV and oral steroids so much so that I permanently lost vision, mobility and balance. So that's another side of the story and you won't find a doctor to tell you that. Yes, there are peer reviewed medical studies in respected journals.

I bummed a cigarette the day my husband died. I smoke about a half pack a day. Never in my house, always outside even in the dead of winter. I'm always considerate of others.

I don't tell anyone what they should do with their lives and I don't want to be told by others what to do with mine--they'd be wasting their time. If a person is of legal age what they do is their choice IMO whether it's smoking or something else. Just don't endanger me or my loved ones.
Sue
 
Mason,

I smoke about 3 cigars a year, never near young relations and always outside with other consenting adults, so I don't feel bad about health or role model issues.

On the other hand because I do it so rarely I usually smoke Cubans, and I am starting to wonder if my habit is helping to fund an unpleasant, tyrannical regime which lives in luxury whilst most of its citizens are in poverty.

And that my firend is a good reason to quit
 
Congratulations to all that have been able to quit the little white devils.
What aid's if any did you guys use to crush the cravings?

BTW just got these when i got home wednesday night from the lady of the house:
proxy.php


edit: after viewing the above post i probably couldnt feel worse about myself...thanks B&B ;)
 
Congratulations to all that have been able to quit the little white devils.
What aid's if any did you guys use to crush the cravings?

BTW just got these when i got home wednesday night from the lady of the house:
proxy.php


edit: after viewing the above post i probably couldnt feel worse about myself...thanks B&B ;)
If you are feeling guilty, I shall dispose of at least one of those, properly.
 
...(snip) ...I bummed a cigarette the day my husband died. I smoke about a half pack a day. Never in my house, always outside even in the dead of winter. I'm always considerate of others.

I don't tell anyone what they should do with their lives and I don't want to be told by others what to do with mine--they'd be wasting their time. If a person is of legal age what they do is their choice IMO whether it's smoking or something else. Just don't endanger me or my loved ones.
Sue

+ infinity Sue. This sums it up. I'm the same way. My wife doesn't smoke and neither does my boy (7 months coming up). I would never put them in danger. I never have and never will smoke inside our dwelling or vehicle, I go outside even in 120 degree heat if I want to smoke. At work, I roll the LEGALLY MANDATED 20+ FEET FROM ANY ENTRANCE (all the non-smokers who wish to talk to me happily follow me out). I'm aware smoking is not healthy, everyone is, it's no secret. What I don't need is anyone else on this planet taxing me or telling me I'm less of a person because I use tobacco.

EDIT: I currently use Swedish snus in addition to smoking. Thanks to snus, my smoking habit is dwindling. For information on snus, please see Rob's informational post in the Speakeasy.
 
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Where do all of you tobacco naysayers live that your life is so impeded and hindered by people using tobacco? The 1800's? What type of actions on a regular basis do you need to take to avoid people using tobacco so that you don't die of second hand smoke?? Where I live, it's illegal to smoke within 20 feet of any public place, which seems like plenty of room for you to stroll into the parking lot and find your car without breathing any type of tobacco fume. Do I live in the future or something? What more do you people need? At any random bar you go to, you'll see people who smoke are herded like cattle in to a tiny area outside reserved for smokers and leppers. If I attend a Diamondback's game (with an OPEN retractable roof), I'm required to walk a country mile from my seat to the tiny smoking area outside of the stadium as to not taint anyone's air with smoke WHICH SUITS ME FINE. Who cares if there is a stretch Hummer limo parked there blowing fumes into the smoking area, pollution plays no part in the health of tobacco users. Seriously though, for those of you complaining about people who use tobacco, please clue me in on how your personal health is effected by it, because I don't see it.
 
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