Friday, September 07, 2007

why i love smoking

the time is fast approaching when smoking will be banned in public buildings everywhere in the known universe. i find myself flapping around like a suffocating fish over the whole smoking ban argument. on the one hand i don't want to be responsible for the deaths of my friends who are sitting near me in the pub, but on the other hand a beer just tastes so much better with a smoke. it's a tough decision to make. i think it would be easier if a lot of the anti-smoking brigade weren't self-opinionated, narcissistic, cock-munching thought police with a messianic complex. people with nothing better to do than wage some kind of holy crusade because they don't like the perfectly free and legal choice another person has made. mainly because they don't like the smell. fair enough, clothes that stink of smoke are pretty nasty. some pubs, and especially restaurants, do benefit from being free of that smoky atmosphere. others don't. take clubs for example. packing a lot of extremely sweaty people who are in the mood to boogie into a small, enclosed space creates a smell so over-powering that cigarette smoke is the only substance that can counteract it. don't believe me? try going into a gym and shoving your nose in someone's armpit for four hours. after two hours you'll start hallucinating. by four hours you're already dead.

oh sure, these nazis will have you believe that it's not just the smell of smoke that's causing their hissy fits, it's the fact that it's killing people. and it probably is. i mean, it makes sense that breathing in someone else's smoke would be harmful in some way. but what these people don't grasp is that everything is fucking harmful. the human body is designed to shut down, from the moment you end puberty the rest of your life is just an elaborately planned suicide pact between your body and every outside force it comes in contact with. some things cause more harm than others, and there's a rough correlation between how harmful something is and how pleasurable it is (fig.3.4748782782793). clearly there's only so much fun one body can take.

people know this, but do it anyway. because they want to get enjoyment out of something even if it is bad for them. being in a pub or a bar is pretty much a declaration that you're happy to harm yourself. there is nothing healthy about a pub. the food's cheap, fatty and salty, as are most of the clientele. for chrissakes, the main reason people go there is because of that sweet nectar, alcohol. which is an absolute bastard for harming people compared to smoking. is the second-hand smoke caused by me lighting up really going to be the thing that kills you, out of everything else? perhaps, but i doubt it. besides, if you're just there to chat with friends, why not go to a nice smoke-free café instead? if you're sat next to someone who lights up when you don't want them to you're well within your rights to ask them not to and, unless they're complete knob-jockeys, they'll go somewhere else to smoke. i just don't think me smoking in a pub is the big evil people claim it is.

i guess that's it, i feel like us smokers are being used by the kind of people who have to create evils so that they can fight against it, in order to gain some sense of smug self-satisfaction that comes from telling people what to do. the god-fearing christian type. if they need to fight some unhealthy people, why can't it be fat folk? fat people are rubbish and only have themselves to blame. at least smokers contribute more money to the nhs through taxes than they take away from it. and smoking does look cool. 20 stone lard buckets do nothing apart from offend the eye and drain hospital funds. children should stop having these role models who are fat. it makes the children think that it's acceptable to have your own significant gravitational field. i suggest the swift and bloody removal of the likes of vanessa feltz.

anyway, before they get their way and it's smokers who are the ones led to the gas chambers for an ironic death, i feel i should stick up for the wonders of smoking. but where to begin? how do you describe something that so entirely and inexplicably makes up a large part of your life? i've heard smokers admit that it's a filthy habit, as if they're secretly ashamed of what they're doing but are powerless to do anything about it. this is a lie. every smoker loves smoking. some smokers claim that they're going to quit any day. this is also a lie. the reason so many smokers try to give up and fail is because they're still in love with cigarettes. for a smoker to really quit there has to be something that destroys the relationship. it has to be the equivalent of catching your fresh, young and above all nubile partner being penetrated by your parents at a family funeral. cigarettes are just too damn attractive. how can something so wrong feel so right? they're relaxing, they provide excellent social interactions, and they just fit so snugly in your fingers. they're like smokeable puppies. and if, for financial reasons you're forced on to rollies, you discover the joy that comes from each time you make a cigarette. you feel like a craftsmen carefully constructing a little piece of yourself. and then actually lighting up and smoking. ar... breathing in that sweet, sweet smoke. relaxing, breathing out... it's special every time. it's not an evil or bad habit, it's just one of the many addictions that people have and enjoy. but not for long.

i'm not going to smoke forever. i have two cut-off points: getting to 30 or having kids. i don't particularly want to die from lung cancer, so smoking past 30 is a (relatively) bad idea. and smoking round children or pregnant women is plain cruel and unfair. but when that time does come when i put down the cigarettes, i'll be able to look back on some happy times. cigarettes have always been there for me these last seven years. they've helped me through some hard times, been there when i've been at my happiest, and asked for nothing in return. yet.


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