Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday 1 June 2005

I just loathe cigarette smoking, but ...

... this judgement seems perfectly reasonable to me. Nobody under the age of at least sixty can plausibly contend, in any western country at least, that they were ignorant (other than willfully!) of the potential danger to their health from smoking when they took to using this drug. I'm only a few years younger than the unfortunate man who died a premature death after smoking 60 cigarettes a day up until his death from lung cancer, but I knew as a young child (from the age of seven or so) just how awful this habit is - my brother and I were pretty stubborn little boys and took to hiding or destroying our parents' cigarettes and whilst we were never 'punished' I can certify (oh my yes, I can certify!) that they were both pretty exasperated with our behaviour and took to keeping emergency supplies with neighbours so we couldn't get our hands on them; I'm talking here about the early 1960s. Even though our father managed to stop smoking about eight years before his death (also from lung cancer) it was obviously not soon enough; fortunately our mother stopped almost immediately after his death (in 1981) and is still with us today. Tobacco is an addictive substance; people need help and encouragement to stop smoking, but the idea that people did not know of the dangers is, and it is painful to write this, laughable.

Same goes for people who consume too much fast food who complain that they were ignorant of the dangers this represents. Good, healthy food need not be ludicrously expensive - with just a little effort, for the 'couch potatoes' out there, there are much healthier alternatives available at reasonably modest cost. Rant over ...

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