These are some words that just need to be said. It’s an irritation (like tar) that I have to get off my chest as it is something I have never even nearly understood. It will be a bit of rant. Well, a massive rant. A full blown attack on the complete and utter illogicality of cigarette smokers.
First I’ll mention the few things that I do understand about the whole thing. Teenagers are fucking idiots. Every single one of them. When we’re young we think we know it all. Nobody can tell us otherwise. For some reason we are all desperate to appear to be cool and unique at this age. Anything we can do to rebel will be done. And many of us end up trying alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Parents and teachers do not like it and this just makes it all the more worthwhile. They can’t tell us anything and we’ll do as we please. I’m not going into drinking and drugs here. That’s another story. My point is that at a young age I understand how people can start smoking. And once you’re hooked by the stuff you may never stop. I get it.
Also I have to admit that it does slightly have some kind of cool factor, even for me. It always looks cool in films. One of my favourite programmes is Mad Men and as it is set in the sixties most of the characters smoke. There’s something about sitting there and sparking up a cigarette and taking a drag whilst taking time to compose your thoughts before adding some input to a conversation. I can see the appeal there somewhat.
And I guess the only other even vaguely positive thing that people can throw at this topic is when they say that it does have some health benefits. Like it’s good for your skin or without them you’d eat more and get fat. Anybody who says this sort of stuff is a moron. Health benefits? Get the fuck out of the conversation. You moron.
I know quite a few smokers and I pity them. Life just seems a lot more difficult for them and they just put up with it because it is simply their reality and there’s nothing that can be done. They wake up, put the kettle on and go outside for a fag. A lovely first fag of the day before a coffee. Nice. Then the day can begin. At work maybe they’ll sort a few things out and get these things done well. A good solid twenty minutes work. That surely deserves a reward. Check-point, time for a fag. Outside they go. Light up. A nice relaxing five minutes with a refreshing cigarette before they go back in to crack on with things again. Maybe on a day off they need to do some house chores. Have a fag before they begin. Get the hoovering done. By now they fancy a fag but maybe they won’t just yet. First they’ll give the surfaces a wipe. And then yes. Now is the time. A cigarette now is not only required but deserved. It is a reward for not only doing one chore before the next fag check-point but two whole chores without a cigarette. Pat yourself on the back and go and enjoy a cigarette for your efforts.
Maybe later on on this day off you decide to go for a few beers with your pals. You get showered and dressed. Check you have your wallet, keys and phone. All is good there. Then check how many fags you have for the night. As you peer inside your cigarette pack you break out into a mild panic as you see eight white sticks in there. Is eight enough for the night? You know you will want a good few cause beer makes you enjoy it more. What if you run out? Just what the fuck will you do then? Plus you’ll need some in the morning anyway. So off you go to the shop to spend £7.50 on twenty more. Good. That’s that covered and you don’t have to worry now. Have a fag to celebrate sorting out that little dilemma efficiently. Actually you may as well have two in a row since you have absolutely plenty for the evening. Go ahead. Treat yourself.
So there you are out with a few mates on the beer. You order your first pint. Take a sip. Nice. You look at one another. Somebody in the group has a suggestion. “Fag?”. Sure thing. Off you go. Outside. In the cold rain. And it’s nice, socialising with a beer and a fag and people and conversation. Then you go back inside where some of the non-smokers remained. The non-smokers are warm and are sitting at a table. First they hear the smokers coming back in since they are coughing their fucking guts up. Then they smell them. But it’s all good. All of the group are together again and everybody’s having a great time. For about 10 minutes when the conversations will have to split in two again as one of the smokers has once again suggested that it is time for another smoking check-point. There will be plenty of other check-points too. If you go to a different bar. Fag. Go the bank. Fag. Walking home. Fag, fag, fag.
It must be a real drag (har har) to live like this. Life is split into a series of check-points. There’s a limited time you can last before the need is too strong and you need to get that relief. I feel sorry for them. I have some neighbours who smoke. They always smoke outside and it seems that whenever I leave my flat to go to the shop or something they’re always out there having a smoke. Sometimes it’s absolutely freezing but they just have to do it. My sister used to smoke. Fair play to her she’s one of the wise ones that quit the stuff. But when she smoked she’d sometimes be sitting outside in the snow at night having a cigarette. And she said something that I found absurd. She said that even though it’s cold she looks forward to just having those five minutes to herself alone and that’s one of the things she likes about smoking. I couldn’t help but think her brain is grasping at anything to make the madness seem more rational. If you like the five minutes alone time just go outside for five minutes. Why the need for a cigarette at all? Hell, if you want that alone time just lock yourself in the bathroom for five minutes and sit there and contemplate stuff.
I know a guy who was fretting about going to New York because he didn’t know if he could handle the plane time without a cigarette. He had one at the last available opportunity and had to have a load of nicotine patches for the journey. As soon as he landed it was a mad dash to get somewhere where he could get his fix.
At work it’s sometimes ridiculous. Sometimes it’s like every time I turn around to speak to someone about something they’re not there. Where are they? Having a fag. They can barely do their job due to their need to suck poison into their lungs. Many of them smoke too. Any kind of gap at work and someone mentions a cigarette and most of the team have downed tools and fucked off. It gets on my nerves some days. I either stay inside on my own or go outside in the freezing cold.
You’ll notice that so far I’ve only really attacked the way smokers have the need to smoke and the way their life is shaped around smoking intervals. That is only one point really and it’s not even the most important at all. But everybody knows the rest of the insanity of it all. The shit is killing them. And it’s costing them a fortune to do it. Whenever they add up the amount they spend on it all it runs into the thousands of pounds per year. If you quit and saved that money you could buy a car. Does that make them feel silly? Maybe. But it doesn’t stop them. Whenever they talk about money problems and how tight it is this month or how they are late paying a few bills I just stand there and nod my head. Inside all I think is “idiot”. For the solution is the most obvious and logical thing in the world.
And the health aspect of it all is what makes me so perplexed. They say every cigarette takes around 10 minutes off your life. Time is precious to me as it is to most people. Nobody wants to die young. It should scare the hell out of these maniacs but it doesn’t. When they wake up with their horrific cough do they not think about their own mortality? When they are wheezing and out of breath after walking up the stairs does it not make them want to stub out their little stick and quit it all? It’s the biggest preventable killer of all time. And they are sold to millions of people everyday. To be fair the government seem to be trying to help. They raised the smoking age from 16 to 18. They banned shops from displaying them. There are advertising campaigns to scare people. Every packet carries warnings saying that the shit will kill your ass dead if you do not stop. They’ve whacked a shitload of tax on them so they are ridiculously overpriced. They’ve banned smoking from all public places. What more can be done really? But people still do it. Stupid as hell. I guess the next move will eventually be to ban it altogether. But that’s like cheating really. I’d prefer it if people just decided to get some will power and quit themselves rather than to be forced into it. Make your own choices but make the right ones. How can so many make such a stupid choice here?
I hope I’ve conveyed my disbelief in how stupid the whole thing is by now. But there’s more. I could go on all day as it seems to really have got to me lately. Another thing that bugs me are women that have been pregnant so have given up to protect their baby. Nice work, well played. But after giving birth they then make the adult and wise decision to go back to it. This is not addiction since they have gone months and months without the ritual of having a cigarette. This is a choice. How is it in any shape or form a good decision to make? I wish one of these imbeciles could sit me down and explain it to me so I understand. Eventually they’d say it’s their decision and nothing to do with me. Ok, kill yourself then. I’ll just have to walk around confused for the rest of my life while these silly sods walk around with inhalers, oxygen masks and empty wallets. I even know people that didn’t start smoking until they were adults. This was not some rebellious teenage act. This one girl was so intelligent. One of the most intelligent people I ever knew. And at the mature age of 21 she decided for some reason that I will never get my head around to start smoking. And now she has the cough that all smokers have. What a great decision that was. She says “I know you don’t like it but I enjoy it”. Fucking moron. For me you can almost separate the population by putting all the idiots on one side who have no hope cause they don’t give a shit and all the logical people on the other side. Most of the idiots smoke and most of the logical people don’t. But there are some that defy this and can make all the right decisions and belong on the logical side but with the totally wrong choice about smoking. For this reason they belong with the idiots. I don’t care if you have a PhD in physics as soon as you become a smoker then you should hand your qualifications back because there has obviously been a mistake. I know I’m coming off as snobby here. And I don’t care. It annoys me so much. Smoking holds back the human race. It is second probably only to religion. Religious smokers are the most retarded people of all. Maybe they just want to visit heaven a little bit quicker. Silly bastards.
People can say I’m a hypocrite because I drink a lot. That is also addictive. You also spend a lot of money on that. And that also kills you. It isn’t anywhere near as addictive and it is way less of a guaranteed fact that it will kill you. But there is a reason for drinking. Not just to escape problems. But after a couple of pints it has an affect on you where you are more relaxed and less inhibited. That’s why you do it. You pay for a social drug and get social effects. That’s the key difference. The money is at least justified as you are getting something in return. Not to mention it tastes nice. Smoking tastes horrible. And it does nothing other than satisfy a need that you should never have had in the first place if you actually used your brain. People say it relaxes them. Only because you became anxious because you needed a fag and in having one you have negated the effect. If you don’t smoke and don’t need one smoking does not relax you. It simply doesn’t do anything. I also need a little shot at these “social” smokers. At times I am one of them so this is aimed at me too. Why when we have a few beers do we sometimes buy some cigarettes for the evening? Why do we do it? We don’t need them. It does nothing. It costs money. So what the fuck are we playing at? Sometimes I’ve smoked so much on a weekend that I develop cravings for Satan’s stupid sticks of doom. Then I make sure to not touch them at all for a while because having thought long and hard about the pros and cons of smoking I always come to the same decision – fucking ridiculous.
I reckon by now I’ve made my point. It winds me up. And more so lately than ever hence the blog post. Some people deserve credit. I know it must be hard to quit and they’re trying. Everybody should at least try to quit and I’d respect that so much. It’s the people that love it and have no intention of quitting that are dumb on a level I cannot fathom. People are getting these e-fags now in an effort to quit. I worry that they’ll still find it difficult because they are still giving into the physical habit of holding and sucking on a stick every half an hour. Plus they are not getting away from the nicotine so haven’t experienced withdrawal yet. But fair play to them. It is a step in the right direction. I am passionate about this. I guess it means that in some way I care about my fellow human beings. Maybe I just know too many smokers and feel on my own with my frustrations. They probably all think I should let my hair down and relax because none of us are getting out of any of this shit alive anyway. But that’s no reason to be so wasteful with the money we have while we’re here and it’s no reason to intentionally give ourselves less time than we have. I guess if I look at it from a 100% rational point of view and take all emotion out of the equation then maybe smoking is nature’s way of culling the population. Natural selection in action. The smokers will fade away. But there is a choice. You can let it kill you and leave the smoking population that way. Or you can choose to quit right now and join the logical non-smokers right now. Forget waiting for the right time to quit. Forget cutting down first. Forget e-cigarettes and nicotine patches. Bollocks to the last pack of fags that you have right now. If you are currently smoking a cigarette throw it away. Just quit right now. You can do it. It makes all the sense in the world. And after 15 years your lungs will be healed…
That’s my stance on this subject that I had to get out of my system. There it is. Agree? Obviously you should. Disagree? Let me know. Make me understand. In the mean time, peace and love my fellow humans x