Saturday, November 17, 2012

I'll Pass, Thanks

According to the American Lung Association, cigarettes contain more than 600 chemicals, including acetone, arsenic, lead, and tar. Cigarette smoke releases more than 4000 chemicals. (Check out the facts here.)

Depictions on the silver screen of yore make smoking look glamorous and even sexy, but smoking is bad for your health, and at this point in history everybody knows it. However, it’s addictive and apparently quite enjoyable for some. My mother continued to smoke throughout her diagnosis and treatment for lung cancer, and my oldest son is a smoker. (The first time I saw him in the backyard taking a drag, I was filled with alarm. “Christian,” I said, “You promised your grandmother on her deathbed that you wouldn’t smoke, ever.” My mother passed away eleven years ago, and Christian was only thirteen at the time so perhaps he’d forgotten that promise, and I know my reminder was a cheesy, manipulative mother-type ploy, but he did promise. No matter, Christian continued to inhale, seemingly unfazed by my story.)

Smoking is one vice I’ve never been tempted to try, for which I’m grateful. It’s expensive, it plays havoc with your dental health, it jacks up your vocal cords, and did I mention that it kills? Well, not exactly, but scores of experts have.

I realize that smoking is a bona fide addiction, and I’m not trying to pick on smokers—much. In fact, I’m writing to pass on a tip.

The other day I saw a banner hanging in the doorway of my neighborhood dollar store. (Who am I kidding? I don’t have a neighborhood dollar store. In this part of town we have like, five of those suckers within a three-block radius, but anyhoo…) The banner read LOW PRICE CIGARETTES.

I’m all for a bargain, I guess, and I’ve shopped at the dollar store as often as the next gal, but these are the people that brought us toothpaste mixed with diethylene glycol, the stuff used to make antifreeze, okay?  Since I don’t smoke, maybe I shouldn’t attempt to think like a smoker, but I know I wouldn’t trust these people with my cigarettes. (Or my grammar. Shouldn’t the banner have read “Low-Priced Cigarettes”?)

Well, perhaps when it’s all said and done, there’s no cause for concern. After all, the statistics have to be on the side of the dollar store. What could be the harm in one or two more deadly chemicals among 600?  

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