I honestly can’t say I was surprised when I heard that flavored cigarettes had been banned, but I do still live in America, right? Do we still pretend to be the land of the free?
Continuing to persecute smokers simply because they are a minority strikes me as antithetical to the concept of free state. They have become the pariahs of the modern age. It is incredibly convenient to pile tax upon tax onto a small portion of your populace whom you know have no prayer of voting against such a tax. I suppose that is one of the failings of a democracy. As Winston Churchill said “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.”
The idea that “You never see a long-term smoker smoking a chocolate, mocha mint, vanilla or strawberry cigarette” (Matt Myers; President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids) is just plain wrong. First of all it’s an absolute statement; any sane person knows those are almost always incorrect. Secondly, I smoked Sweet Dreams Chocolate Mocha cigarettes until I quit. I would have likely smoked them again if not for this ludicrous ban. The rationale for this ban is to protect the children. Isn’t that what parents are for? Don’t even get me started on that.
I recognize that modern science has concluded beyond all reasonable doubt that those who smoke face significantly higher physical health risks. There are two things that the scientific method does not account for in these studies however:
- The individual The way the scientific method works it is based on a statistical sample. It’s impossible for it to determine what the precise results for any given person are going to be. This is why the larger the sample, the more accurate the data becomes. But at the same time, it also could become less accurate. The data research provides is typically shaped as a bell curve. Who’s to say where any individual will fall within that bell? Isn’t it our right as Americans to be free to roll those dice? With whatever flavor cigarette we want to?
- The power of the human mind I am a long term smoker. I’ve quit several times. I recently quit for what I thought would be the last time. My best friend encouraged me to start again because he saw how miserable I was. This was not after only a few weeks. This is months later, well after all the chemical dependency was gone. The simple fact is that I’m happier being a smoker. So now we must ask the question, “Who’s healthier: A miserable Arioch or a happy Arioch?” The scientific method has also shown that the power of positive thinking has likely benefits.
Would I be healthier if I could be happy as a non-smoker? Probably. But that’s not an option right now. So let me be happy the way I want to. In a free country. I thought that was America. Apparently not 😦