Dreams of a Smoke Free World

Seventeen years ago, I gave up smoking and it’s still one of my greatest achievements. For more details on how I did it, read this post I wrote two years ago: Giving Up Smoking

I’ll reiterate one particular point I made back then… Smoking is stupid. I don’t care if I offend any smokers, it’s the truth.

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Most people who will read this know I’ve been travelling around South America for the last six months. I’ve seen the state of cigarette smoking on this continent and honestly, it makes me sad. Australia and New Zealand have been working hard to slow this addiction and it seems to be working. But in South America it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Packs of cigarettes are so cheap here, even by local standards, that smoking is too easy. And while there are rules in some countries that prohibit smoking in certain places, it’s still done in most bars and clubs. In some hostels smoking is allowed in some common areas, unfortunately those same common areas are often the food preparation and eating areas, or the only inside common area at the hostel.

I know I’m not the only one in the world that dreams of a smoke free world. But as you’d expect, some smokers don’t want that. They want the right to smoke and feel their rights are being taken away. Most smokers don’t seem to care if I take in their second hand smoke or that they are one of the largest causes of litter in the world when they stub it out on the ground. I don’t want to take away anyone’s right to smoke if that’s what they really want to do, go ahead, smoke yourself stupid. But when it affects me, then I have the right to argue against it.

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For the smokers out there that read this. Ask yourself these questions. Why do you smoke? Have you ever tried to stop? If you have, why do you still do it? What’s stopping your from doing it? What would it take to make you stop forever? If you don’t want to stop, is it really that important? Or are you arguing against giving up because it’s actually easier than giving up itself?

Anyway, my greatest concern about smoking cigarettes is not the people who’ve been doing it all of their lives, it’s that people who are just starting. And most of those are teenagers. Why? Based on studies it’s mostly because their parents or friends smoke. That’s how I started, all those years ago, my father smoked and because it was okay for him to do it, I didn’t see an issue with me doing it either. But I was too young to know better. I don’t blame him for that, he didn’t hold me down and make me after all…

While I doubt my rant will cause any kind of change in the world, I will always dream that one day the world will be smoke free, I doubt it will be in my lifetime though. Maybe one day.

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Until next time,

Keyman

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