April 26, 2012 by Annie McCormick
Seriously, I’ve been wanting to quit smoking. For years now. I’ve been one of those off-and-on smokers since I was a teenager. I would quit when I was pregnant and stay quit for years at a time. Once I had such a bad Tequila hangover that I quit cold turkey with no problem because the thought of cigarettes made me puke. My main problem is that I get psychotic when I try to quit. One of my daughters actually told me to have a cigarette when I was losing it.
So, why do I keep smoking even though I hate it? Because I’m addicted to nicotine. Cigarettes are the only thing I know of that are horrible for your health, stink, are highly addictive and completely legal. They are sold using fraudulent marketing practices and target a young audience hoping for lifelong customers. Cigarette companies make billions of dollars yearly, minus the kickbacks to legislators.
I would like to see cigarette tax dollars go towards nicotine recovery centers, much like the recovery centers available for heroin, crack and meth users. A legal addiction is still an addiction so why not? Well, because the industry would go broke if nobody smoked anymore. There’s not a snowflake’s chance in a pizza oven that this would happen.
Did you know? It takes a butt up to 10 years to decompose. If you ate 5 cigarettes it would kill you. Nearly half of the cigarettes sold in the U.S. are consumed by people with mental illness. Teenagers and ethnic groups are their targets.
Around 1993 the National Smokers Alliance was a supposedly grass-roots non-profit organization which protested anti-smoking laws. They called themselves “the voice of reason” and claimed that smokers were being treated as second-class citizens and were “scorned and abused.” The NSA, which claimed to have 3 million members, was actually invented by the Phillip Morris Tobacco Company. The NSA fancied itself as a defender of civil rights standing at the ready to defend the aforementioned “scorned and abused.” Their national board of advisors included Oscar J. Coffey Jr., chair of the U.S. African American Chamber of Commerce, Lyn Nofziger (Reagan’s press secretary), Pierre Salinger (press secretary to Kennedy and Johnson) and John Hillerman from Magnum P.I.
The angry talk show host Morton Downey, Jr. was a member. He quit smoking after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 1996. Mr. Downey died from the disease in 2001.
In the 1920s an advertising man working for the tobacco companies had a great idea. He sent a group of models he called “women’s rights marchers” to a parade in New York City. At a specified time they would all light the “Torch of Freedom”, aka a Lucky Strike. One of the original “Mad Men.”
My health is the greatest reason to quit. The other is that I don’t like being played for a chump by advertising agencies, politicians and tobacco companies who claim to be protecting my “civil rights”.
Call for Phillip Morris! I’m already strung out on nicotine! Don’t do me any more favors!!
Category Columns, Hills and Hollers | Tags: Annie McCormick, hills and hollers