I have been a member on this site for some years now and I must say that I enjoy the majority of Blogs here. However, I don't enjoy or approve of Blogs about issues like "Smoking, reasons to quit" or other lifestyle blogs. I'm getting pretty annoyed about this type of PC, Health fascism on about every website, TV, Newspaper and Radio programme I tune too these times.
Reasons why some people smoke: A lot people only smoke a few a day (about 5 or 6), which may reduce your life expectancy by 12 months. Big deal when by that age anyway, most people will be living well into their 80s. People smoke because (1) they actually enjoy it (2) it provides a space where a person can reflect about issues in their lives for a few moments each day (3) It's still cool and perhaps more cool now seen that everyone has become so PC and, so, so boringly anti-smoking.
What really, really annoys me about this topic is the sheer hypocrisy that surrounds the whole issue by lawmakers and people in the media is the huge tolerance these self-same health gurus and guardians have for Alcohol and hard (but cool drugs "they like") drugs like cocaine and E. Just observe these fashionable people in any London or Dublin nightclub on a Saturday night, drugged up on cocaine and Bozz and yet a person is not allowed smoke a cigarette. Oh please, this world is becoming more and more pathetic and stupid each passing day.
Tobacco may kill a person eventually, but stupidity and conformity make you into a living, humourless corpse decades before you finally drop. What moronic times we live in. Old adage, a little of what's bad for you, is a good thing in life.
James, it is not a spiritual revolution to fill your lungs and mind with dirt and addiction. However, I understand what you mean, and I prefer an adolescent (as I see it) attitude like yours, than the health-and-success type of a yuppie.
I've been smoking since I was 15 years old - not once in a while, but heavily. This became a burden to me, and finally I realized that all I needed to do in order to free myself from the drug, was just to understand the problem - not some crazy discipline, not some huge willpower, just to understand the problem truly - and then I thought to write also something about that, in case other people too feel trapped and enslaved. Was it so bad a decision? And was Ellopos Blog transformed into a 'lifestyle' blog by just one post on smoking?
Beyond these, isn't also philosophically interesting, what a power understanding in itself is? After so many talk about cigarettes and nicotine, after so many methods, inventions, pills, etc., there appears a person named Allen Carr and says, you only need to know the truth, and you will be free! Isn't that philosophically interesting, even if you don't care about quitting smoking?
Because it is indeed as Carr says: if you just know the real factors involved in smoking (the supposed pleasure, the addiction, the symptoms of quitting, etc.) you can stop smoking almost without any effort at all - if you want.
I don't consider tobacco to fill one's mind with dirt, in fact, smoking in a moderate way, is a pleasure, which can actually help block out a lot of the real mental pollution one is forced to endure on a daily basis. Nobody in power seems to question, the mental pollution of pornography for example, of visceral horror films on our TV screens each night, of banal, self indulgent talk-shows, in which the people are pathetically encouraged to confess their banal love life affairs or their weight issues to the whole wide world. What would your heroic ancestors in Greece of thought about all this? Plato, Homer, Alexander the Great? Would they laugh or cry, or become angry, even mad with us? In the recent past, some of the world's greatest men, the iconic images of Einstein for example, smoked pipes, could you image Dutch still life paintings without the clay pipe context?
I do nevertheless accept the argument that heavy smoking in conjunction with other types of behaviour (like poor diet, lack of physical exercise) can seriously shorten a person's life. However, we have largely created a system of society in the west that encourages all these types of mental and physical stagnation, TV culture, cars, shopping malls, people watching sport rather than playing, a drink culture to fill the gaps in some many peoples lives, so one is forced to contend that indeed something is very wrong, systematically with our sad, sick and very confused western model these days.
I suppose it all amounts to a lack of discipline and this is what Alan Carr says too, and his point (although I'm sure he doesn't know it) is very similar to Kant's idea of freedom, namely the freedom to be free from our desires, and the consequential freedom to life in accord with that "higher law". (Kant would call this the state moral freedom).
However, Kant was a perfect example of a western man who lived a life of happy temperance and measure in all things. He exercised both his body and mind daily, he drunk a little and he smoked a little too, and lived a life in accordance with higher laws until he was of an advanced age.
James, we are polluted even by watching our political leaders in the TV. Of course smoking is not the only (or the most serious!) source of pollution. This doesn't mean we should keep on smoking. Whateve source of pollution we can fight, is good.
I had come to a point where I could not breath anymore! You understand that this has nothing to do with pleasure. It is pure addiction. If someone can stay to a measure, I don't believe that 2 or 3 cigarettes a day are a problem (unless you don't like the idea of being addicted). But how many people can stay to that? Most smokers tend to increase the doses, as is usual with all drug addicts.
Well, if you couldn't breath anymore I guess it was time for you to quit. Yet, I don't know why people who enjoy a few cigarettes a day or a cigar in the evening should be made to feel like criminals or social outcasts. Not everyone who smokes is an addict, the same point is evidently true about alcohol too. Besides certain places will never be the same in any true cultural sense once certain aromas are removed forever, think of that wonderful, intoxicating smell of rich coffee, tobacco and conversation that greets, yes truly greets you as a guest who arrives in a Vienna coffee house. I suppose nobody cares much about the passing away of such true European sensibilities anymore, the tobacco free, climate controlled, organised, hygienically clean life of the English speaking mid Atlantic surely must be awaiting the meek and faithful of this world nowadays! (Why can German speaking people, smoke, drink and eat as much as they want and still be able to go climbing the Matterhorn the next day?,at least Adorno had the perfect, true European sense of taste to die on the 6th of August 1969 after an excursion to his beloved mountain, reports don’t mention whether he was smoking or not that day)
Anyway I being slightly sardonic, but I do understand your reasons, so good luck with your efforts.