Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Smokers are not a lost cause

Have you ever noticed that the advice given by ANTZ and health groups is "for smokers who want to quit, use FDA-approved products?" The key words are "want to quit." They don't even bother anymore for the "lost causes" who have no intention of quitting. They always claim that 3/4 of smokers "want to quit," but they never bother to find out if those who express the desire to "quit" would really rather not, but just do not want to die. That may be a huge reason for why so many smokers who "want to quit" never even make the attempt or fail if they try.

Think of it in terms of VD or AIDS. Most people don't want to get those diseases, but they don't really want to give up sex, either. If health groups had convinced the world that the only way to avoid those diseases and the certainty of dying was complete abstinence (rather than the policy they actually took - harm reduction,) how many people would say they "want" to remain abstinent, simply meaning they want to live? How many people would succumb to social pressure of giving up something they enjoy rather than being made a pariah for their reckless and dangerous behavior of continuing to have sex?

Smokers have been socially pressured into giving up something many, if not most, enjoy and made to feel shame for admitting they enjoy it and would rather not quit. But they don't want to die, either. Yet instead of promoting harm reduction for those people, the health groups have lied to them and said their only choice is tobacco/nicotine abstinence or death. Consequently, the public believes tobacco/nicotine users are reckless and fools to even consider using any kind of tobacco or nicotine, regardless of the true risks.

It'd be like telling people using condoms (instead of abstinence) that condoms aren't a guarantee against disease and using them could lead to reckless behavior like NOT using one or that it could break, so they need to give up sex or die. Condoms are not a safe alternative! They would have basically told people who still want to have sex that it doesn't matter if they use a condom or not. The public and health groups today would see that as something ridiculous and unethical to say, yet it is exactly what they are telling people who want/need to use tobacco/nicotine.

There are millions of smoke-free tobacco users and e-cig users who still feel pressure and guilt to give up something that is low risk and that they enjoy because of the "quit or die trying" mantra of the ANTZ. You are not a bad person because you enjoy or need nicotine or the activity of "smoking." The people would have you believe that your "addiction" is somehow a testament to your "lower moral character" are hypocrites who most certainly have their own, socially accepted "crutch." Don't let them get to you.