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Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Smoking Paradox

Smoking has been a primary target for most of the global good doers in our era. Our doctors and scientists have managed to connect various and ailments to the humble act of smoking. Almost everyone knows how dangerous smoking can be. And most of them have their personal list of anecdotes and true stories about the unimaginable horrors of smoking. Recently I read they are going to put pictures of these horrors on the front of cigarette cases.

Now this is where the super criminal shot the super cop's 10 year partner and best friend, he is down in a dark foggy alley,but behind his steel gaze we see that he has a plan to save the day and our super cop's love life. He flips opens his pocket pulls out a cigarette packet with his bloody fingers, the sly grin in his lips part a little as he paces the cigarette there, then, then.... then he flicks out his trusty zippo , the metal clang of the metal cap brings a healthy yellow flame which lights up his life, but then he sees the cigarette pack. The bloody swollen gums, the broken teeth, the black scales , the callouses on the tongue. And under this joyless color photo is the cliche one liner. “Smoking is injurious to health.” Our dying supporting hero loses it, his quivering lips drops the cigarette, he forgets the monologue of how his friend will save the day, he forgets to write on the garbage bin clues to who killed him in his own blood, and there on the dirty wet moonlight alley he takes his last breathe, with his trusty zippo's flame fading out to the next scene, as the super criminal's laugh echoes.
They are going to ruin epic movie scenes.. with the disease photos.
I always believed, like I believe in many other things too that the dangers of smoking has been greatly exaggerated. I am saying it not dangerous. It maybe dangerous and it may cause all those horrid ailments discovered everyday by scientists and doctors blowing tobacco smoke into rats and pulling out blood from cancer patients. I just think the methodology used is pretty messed up. This is an argument which I generally have with my friends. To emphasize my point that smoking isn't has dangerous as people perceive it I asked him if he knew any one who died because of smoking. After a few seconds of “scratching” his head he told his uncle's in-laws sister's husband etc had died because of smoking. He also added the dead person used to smoke around fifteen cigarettes a day, the strong ones. Then I asked him how many people he knew who died who never smoked. Well it seemed he got where I was going , and soon there was a violent change of topic. I think that is the general problem, people now are so flooded with information on the danger of smoking, that they, sometimes even the smokers are not willing to accept simple facts.

The general view of smoking has drastically changed. I remember a time when, a guy in his dusty faded jeans, his old shirt, wind scarred face, a shaggy mustache and cigarette in his mouth was the ultimate icon of coolness. But now we have the metrosexuals( I still prefer to call them “almost gay”) , who dress up like butterflies, trim their eyebrows, wear make up and chew nicotine tablets preaching how his life has changed, when he switched from the “root of all evil” cigarettes to nicotine gum. He is no longer an addict. AHHHHHHHH! The nicotine is not the danger factor, it causes the addiction. The evil in cigarettes is caused by the other substances ,it seems. You replace it with nicotine gum, you still are addicted to nicotine, but now u just look like a skinny cow chewing his cud. Then you might have seen this group of women who cringe at the sight of some poor soul enjoying his smoke. Come on ladies do you even know the names of those crazy named chemicals that you paint your face with everyday. There are fully equipped mad scientist labs that make all your anti aging cream,your fairness bleach etc, that is designed to make you look less human and more barbie. Have you ever thought about finding out what it actually does. But for smoking everyone gets real scientific and technical.

Anyway I decided to do a Google research,if any, on the benefits of smoking. even though I was bombarded with links relating to the benefits of smoking marijuana(its much better). I did find a large treasure trove of reading material on the benefits of smoking tobacco too.. Well ladies and gentlemen, and you non smokers, Smoking has many health benefits too. Yes there are the benefits claimed by doctors and scientists doing real experiments in the same status as those experiments to show the negative effects of smoking. Smoking is beneficial to health too.
Here are a few things I found, Please note these are cut and paste quotes from various pages I got from Google search, you can do the same and get the same result.
"Smoking lowers Parkinson's disease risk “
Impact of Smoking on Clinical and Angiographic Restenosis After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention – This large study shows yet another benefit of smoking. This time the benefit concerns restenosis, that is, the occlusion of coronary arteries. Smokers have much better chances to survive, heal and do well. “
Severe Gum Recession, Less Of A Risk For Smokers - “

"In a multivariate analysis, children of mothers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day tended to have lower odds for suffering from allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, atopic eczema and food allergy, compared to children of mothers who had never smoked (ORs 0.6-0.7). Children of fathers who had smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day had a similar tendency (ORs 0.7-0.9)."

"Nicotine might be a surprising alternative someday for treating stubborn forms of tuberculosis, a University of Central Florida researcher said Monday. “
Carbon Monoxide May Alleviate Heart Attacks And Stroke "
"Smoking Prevents Rare Skin Cancer "
"A statistically significant inverse relation between smoking and Alzheimer's disease was observed at all levels of analysis, with a trend towards decreasing risk with increasing consumption".
Smokers have reduced risks of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease”

Smoking: Protection Against Neural Tube Defects?”
There are plenty more of these serious looking ailments which smoking can help. Apart from these there are direct benefits, with thankfully shorter and more understandable names, like increase in mental concentration intellectual stimuli, appetite suppressant, Stress reliever, increased libido... yeah u heard me.. smoking makes u sharp , less heavy and have better sex.( Didn't see that one coming did you, neither did I).

I mean I thought it was supposed to make you impotent. Then there is this thing about passive smoking being more dangerous. Come on you walk in the street, a car produces more toxins and carcinogens than cigarette. I mean just think about it. Tobacco is a plant, a leaf. Whereas petroleum is like a million year old plant dead dinosaur ,with whatever killed them(mysterious item X), with lots of added chemicals to make it more efficient. Is a super ancient old brew of dead plants, gigantic beasts with a certain 'X' that killed them less dangerous than tobacco?????Which one is more dangerous. If you cant imagine that then just consider the number of people in your life who smokes and don't.

Everyone has stories of their mutual acquaintances who was a heavy smoker and died, But everyone dies, smoker or non smoker, everyone has their one brand of diseases in them. Smoking does damage to you, but does every smoker in the world die of causes relating to smoking.- “he was a heavy smoker?” “ How did he died?” “Car ran over him”, “Oh another smoker had an untimely death.”

Of course I can't prove any of this scientifically, I am no expert, just like you, as none of you can prove that smoking cause all the various diseases its said to cause. I am not asking anyone to take up smoking or quit smoking. Smoking does have many adverse effects, which any smoker will tell you, what I am trying to point out is that there is another side to the whole “smoking is dangerous “craze that have hit the planet. We got your information, I just took the extra step to check the other side of the coin, Which I believe each of you should before you scoff and scorn at the the next person who lights up a cigarette in that corner of the street. I am not asking anyone to take up smoking, but just asking you to look at the next person you see smoking and see just a human being with a vice.