An incident today at a fast food place in Bristol, PA reminded me that addictions are ultimately a battle of the mind and reflect a world view. As I pulled into a parking space, a young guy, who seemed to come out of nowhere, slipped behind me, and went around my car and stood about ten feet from my driver’s door. As soon I exited the car, the guy asked if I had a cigarette. I told him no – that I don’t smoke. “Can you give me ten bucks for a pack of cigarettes?”, he unabashedly asked. “No,” I unequivocally said. “When I become an old as* see if I give you anything, the punk snarled, as he walked away. “You need to change your attitude,” I replied. His ignorance grew. “F*** you,” this intellectual spouted.
The Johnny Smoke anti-smoking PSA played on TV during the 60s has been upstaged by the Opioid Crisis. The old folk song asks “Where have all the flowers gone?” I ask, where have all the anti-smoking public service announcements gone? Except for ads selling stop smoking products, there is not much of a campaign to alert people about the dangers of smoking.
Although the poison from legal cigarettes acts more slowly than that of illegal drugs, it is still a destructive force in society. In the early 70s, my physical education/health instructor in college told us he’d like to go down south and burn down all the tobacco fields. “Don’t tell your parents I’m really going to do this,”, he said and explained he was just trying to make a point about how dangerous smoking is to your health. Early December, 2017, I lost someone very dear to me as a result of smoking.
Like illegal drugs, which have additives such as fentanyl and morphine, cigarettes also have toxic additives. The government evidently does not have a problem with cigarette additives, which make cancer sticks more addictive. Jesus said that the love of money is the root of evil. Allegedly to curb smoking, the government jacked up taxes on cigarettes. The tobacco industry, and its partner in crime the government, are no better than drug pushers, whom they say they want to push out. More tax money in the government coffers! https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm
Although not to the extent as the case with street drugs, cigarette smoking burns a hole through people’s pockets, including those who don’t have much money. In the homeless community in Bucks County, PA, some people would put smokes before food. Even housing! Talk about idolatry!
And by incessantly declaring that drug addiction is a disease, the government and its cohorts keep their tax payer funded jobs and clinics in business. Everything in modern thinking today is a disorder – substance abuse disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (psychobabble for perfectionism) – ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
I’ve met alcoholics and drug addicts who have overcome their addiction but cannot kick cigarettes!
Like illegal drugs, cigarette smoking has become a god of this age. Johnny Smoke is an evangelist for the apostate church “Sister Nicotine and The Holy Smokes.” And of course, like liberal churches, which adds poison to scripture, the tobacco industry adds junk to tobacco.
The first line in Allen Ginsburg’s Beat poem, Howl, in essence a huge run on sentence, captures this age: “I see the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness…” And they continue in madness. They must not realize that De Nile is not just a river in Egypt. Maybe we can bury people who die as a result of smoking in De Nile. Maybe the Egyptian government wouldn’t mind.
That rabid, entitled punk who tried to hit me up for smokes was out of control. Talk about chasing vanities!
The struggles and consequences of smoking among the homeless is part of my book on homelessness, which focuses on Bucks County, PA. https://www.amazon.com/dp/172865209X/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_U_.iX9BbZXM6842?fbclid=IwAR0gPVr_CAM7L0hyxu92hll8KTsLWTUmr1nIEamgTnuc_Hi4yDafBYGcMqs