Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rant #503: Up In Smoke

According to an Associated Press story, Chief Executive Louis C. Camilleri of cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc. told a nurse handling cancer patients that while cigarettes are harmful and addictive, it is not that hard to break the habit and quit.

In addition, Camilleri also said that the tobacco industry doesn't get enough credit for the efforts it makes to ensure that there is effective worldwide regulation of a product that is both harmful and addictive. He added that there are more previous smokers in America today than current smokers.

Camilleri is himself a smoker, and reportedly only quit once, for three months when he had a bad cold.

Obviously, this guy lives on another planet. Tobacco use is perhaps the most addictive habit of all, and the hardest to break.

We have all seen people smoking, often chain smoking, and we grieve for those people, especially loved ones.

The habit often begins in young adulthood, and carries over to adulthood.

Sure, some people can smoke and never get hit by it.

But so many people get cancer from it.

And on a lesser level, it is a somewhat disgusting habit. No matter how much perfume or after shave someone uses, you know that they are a smoker.

The residue clings to the body. There is always a stench around these people.

Just look at their faces. They are always yellowish or full of lines.

That is what smoking does to you.

Perhaps I am prejudiced. My grandfather was a heavy smoker. He went from cigarettes to pipes to cigars in one fell swoop.

He couldn't help himself. He was an addict, plain and simple.

And when he did stop, it was way too late.

My grandfather lived until he was 74 I think. My grandmother, his wife and a non-smoker, lived into her late 80s. My mother, their child, just turned 80. Using these basic statistics, I think smoking robbed probably at least 10 years off my grandfather's life.

He never saw my sister and I graduate high school and college, and he never saw us become parents ourselves, so he never experienced being a great grandparent.

That is what he robbed himself of by smoking.

This dummy from Philip Morris has no understanding of this at all.

And with cigarettes going for double figures pure pack, I am sure he is counting the cash in his wallet, and at the same time lighting up.

I wonder how his grandchildren feel about this, and how they would feel if their grandfather got really sick from these cancer sticks.

I really wonder ... .

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