The decision to smoke should not be taken lightly. After all, it is the cause of the most preventable deaths from cancer worldwide. Aside from causing a variety of cancers, it is addictive, increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, hypertension and causes complications in pregnancy. And many, many other bad things.
All of those things must be weighed against the fact that, clearly, many people find smoking very enjoyable. They find it relaxing and sociable. I find it hard to imagine that anyone in the world is unaware that smoking is so bad for them – after all, it’s written on the packs – but they have made the decision to smoke regardless.
Whilst I have no real problem with this, it concerns me that, firstly, they are bringing health problems onto themselves that could have been prevented and, in turn, costing the NHS additional treatment costs. And secondly, I think that non-smokers should have the freedom to never be around cigarette smoke – including, of course, children. So I am for banning smoking in public places, and banning smoking around children.
With regards to me, well, you asked, so I owe you an honest answer. I do, but irregularly, sparsely and I have no compulsion to do it. I think it was Jerry Seinfeld who said that we show little or no concern about damaging our health so greatly with smoking, but are terrified of putting dry-clean only clothes in the washing machine. But, human behaviour is so often contradictory – but it is good that we are free to behave in this way if we want.
Yes, I smoke. I really wish I hadn’t ever started: not only are there the obvious health risks, but it’s disgusting – it makes your breath and fingers smell bad, turns your teeth yellow, makes your skin age faster, dulls your hair… whatever anyone might say or think, it’s NOT a cool thing to do.