Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Smoking

Parent to their teenage child:
'Now son/daughter, let's do a little cost-benefit analysis of smoking in case you're thinking of taking it up as your new hobby like your friends.

Costs- a cigarette is tobacco leaves (which are held sacred in their natural state in many ancient tribes and used in rituals) wrapped in paper and covered in around 600 approved chemicals, 70 of which have been found to cause cancer. Among the delightful chemicals that those lovely people at the tobacco company put in your expensive cancer sticks are those used in batteries, candle wax, industrial solvent, insecticide, toilet cleaner, rocket fuel, sewer gas, and just for added effect, arsenic! Smoking kills around 5 million people a year worldwide and is expensive and heavily taxed. Aside from the smell, which the smoker generally isn't exposed to because their sense of smell is affected, your teeth are going to turn yellow, you won;t be able to run a flight of stairs without wheezing, your lungs will go black, your blood pressure will be increased, the optic nerve in your eyes will be affected as will your reproductive system and numerous other internal systems, and you are going to face a vastly-increased chance of heart disease and heart-related chest pain. 

Benefits- you'll look f***ing cool and everyone will think you're a true rebel!'

At the end of the day, we all self-medicate, but maybe a little investigation and analysis of the root causes of our suffering might be an idea.


  1. Hi Anthony,

    I have stumbled in this article immediately after I have listen to a radio program (about cigarette) that I would like to share. Apparently, Tazmania wants to be the first State in Australia to prohibit the consumption of cigarette from people born after 2000. It is undeniable that this fact rose huge debate from people. In Australia cigarette are kept very expensive (25$ for a packet) and there is a huge advertise campaign against smoking. However, the percentage of people contrary to this law is higher compare with the one in favor. To be honest I have been a little bit surprised about people reaction but thinking about this law there are also concerns related to freedom rights. So, prohibit cigarette to minor is a right thing to do or is a discrimination??

  2. Hi Davide,

    Every issue is complex, even one which seems so obvious as stopping people doing something so obviously harmful. I would guess that on the surface, freedom is the reason that people voted against it, but I don't know what kind of propaganda appeared in the press prior to the vote, and unfortunately this is usually the deciding factor in people's decision-making.

    How far do you take freedom? I should be free to murder anyone I want, shouldn't it? Of course, you could argue that smoking does kill others because of secondary smoke.

    Thanks for your comment