This blog contains material I wrote and posted on multiply.com between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).
Sunday, 25 November 2012
An Apology To Smokers
I apologise, I really do.
All these years I used to oppose you, and condemn your habit of sucking in the fumes of burning tobacco, only to expel the residuum into the atmosphere. I called it a dirty, filthy habit, and anyone who smoked was worse than a democratic, capitalistic, freedom-lover in my eyes.
I’m sorry for thinking all those bad things of you.
After all, today, my eyes were suddenly opened. I had an epiphany while engaged in the essentially meaningless and repetitive act of making my bed. Do you know how many months of our lives are wasted in making our beds? No? Neither do I, but it’s probably some amazing and horrendous figure.
Anyway, to get back to the point.
I now believe, and believe absolutely and completely, that you smokers are great benefactors to the world, far more so than non-smokers like me.
After all, let’s see how many people benefit from your smoking:
The tobacco growers, who raise and harvest the tobacco which goes to make your smokes.
The pesticide and fertiliser producers, wholesalers, and retailers who supply the tobacco farmers; and the chemical firms which supply them with the raw materials for their fertilisers and pesticides.
The cigarette makers who actually create the cigarettes you smoke, and the paper makers and suppliers, the manufacturers of the cigarette packing machines, and the ancillary personnel who are involved in the actual manufacture of the cigarettes.
The wholesalers and retailers who bring these cigarettes to your breast pockets.
The matchstick or cigarette lighter makers who depend, to a very large extent, on you for a living.
The transporters who haul all this stuff around from one place to another.
And these are just the upstream beneficiaries.
Then, after you’ve smoked the fags, let’s see who else benefits:
The oncologists who will treat your lung cancers, the dentists and oral pathologists who will try to cure you of your stomatitis nicotina palati, the nurses who will care for you in your last days, and the morticians who will dress you and pretty you up for your funerals.
The people who will get the jobs you vacate because of your early smoking-related deaths.
And, lest we forget, the politicians and media (in the form of ads and planted stories) who are paid big bucks by the tobacco lobby to ensure you continue to smoke...
Truly, I am humbled. I should nominate you smokers, jointly, for the Nobel Peace Prize, but I’m not worthy.